
·if
34 ^{r}^{d} International Annual Conference of ICT June 24  June 27, 2003 Karlsruhe Federal Republic of Germany
A MATHEMATICAL MODEL FOR COMBUSTION OF ENERGETIC POWDER MATERIALS
Ms. Alice Atwood (1), Ms. Eva K. Friis (2), Dr. John F. Moxnes (3),
(1) Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division
China Lake, CA, USA
Telephone: (760) 9390203,
Email: alice.atwood@navy.mil
(2) 
Nammo Raufoss AS 
P.O: Box 162,N2831 Raufoss, NORWAY 

Telephone+4761153609 

Email: eva.friis@nammo.com 

(3) 
FFI (Norwegian Defence Research 
Establishment)
P.O. Box 25, N2007 Kjeller, NORWAY
Telephone+4763807514
Email: johnf.moxnes@ffLno
ABSTRACT
This article presents a mathematical model of combustion which can be used in numerical
codes. We also present experimental results where a convective burning front moves behind
the pressure front during combustion in long tubes. The mathematical model is visualized in
analytical studies of burning in a closed bomb.
The detailed kinetic cherrlical reaction mechanisms which occur during combustion of
energetic materials are complicated and difficult to model from first principles. By studying
the combustion mechanism in a variety of experiments, we have constructed a mathematical
model based on average quantities, which can then be implemented (as a subroutine) into
more general numerical computer codes (Autodyn, Hi Dyna and Hi Nike). The combustion
model can be linked with granular mechanical models based on the theory of continuum
mechanics. The model enables simulation of the velocity and the pressure in a combustion
front, and the model can thus be used to study the corresponding mechanical effect on
surrounding materials.
INTRODUCTION
This article presents a mathematical model of combustion which can be used in numerical codes. During combustion of energetic materials the velocity of the reaction front usually moves behind the mechanical pressure front originating from the burning solid material. The detailed kinetic chemical reaction mechanisms which occur during combustion are complicated and difficult to model from first principles. By studying combustion both in a closed bomb and in a long tube, we have constructed a mathematical model based on average quantities, which can be implemented into more general numerical computer codes (Le. Autodyn, Dyna and Nike). The combustion model can be linked with the granular MO model [1] and [2], which is based on the theory of continuum mechanics.
The general idea of the burning model is to facilitate simulation of burning of energetic materials. Traditionally this is achieved by using general twophase hydro code models. Our approach is different. By modeling the reaction kinetics on the meso scale as a subroutine in finite element codes, the burning of energetic materials can be simulated without using general twophase models. In the subroutine each numerical cell may contain both solid and gaseous material. The subroutine calculates the different solid and gaseous masses and densities as well as the burn rate of the solid particle surface, the burn fraction, temperature, gas pressures and the propagation of the burning front. The average pressure in a cell as a result of the combustion is used as input to the general code to calculate the mechanical effect of the combustion on surrounding cells. The model can thereby be used as a tool for studying the combustion of energetic materials and the corresponding mechanical effect on surrounding materials, such as fragmentation.
In an earlier paper [3] simulations of mechanical pressure waves caused by impacting a piston into powder materials, were presented. A hotspot model was also presented [1], [4] and [5]. The hotspots are caused by friction between the granular particles during compaction. By firing a piston into the energetic material, experimental ignition thresholds were observed by using a highspeed camera. Good agreement was found between simulations of the experiment using the hotspot model and the experiments. This paper addresses the burning of the energetic material after ignition.
A short outline of the paper: First the mathematical burning model is presented. Next section presents analytical studies of burning in a closed bomb. Finally, the last section presents theory and experimental results of the general situation where a convective burning front moves behind the pressure front during combustion in long tubes.
THE MATHEMATICAL MODEL
Each numerical cell may contain both solid and gaseous material. This is illustrated in figure
1.
_{S}_{o}_{l}_{i}_{d}
Gas'+WfIH.
Numerical cell with volume V
Figure 1: Illustration of solid particles with gas in between in a numerical cell.
The following equation apply for the mass of the solid and the mass of the gas:
de!
Ms(t) + M _{g} (t) = M
where,
=
Ms(tO) +M /t _{o} )
(1 )
M 
_{s} (t) 
: Total amount of solid in the volume V at time t 
M 
g (t) : Total amount of gas in the volume V at time t 

M 
: Total amount of solid and gas 

to 
: Initial time zero 
The different volumes and densities are defined in equation (2)  (7):
de!
V = V
s
+ V
g
de! M
(t)
Ps(t) =
s
Vs(t)
: V is the volume of the solid and V
s
g
: density of the solid (particles)
de! M
(t)
P _{g} (t) =
g
Vg(t)
: density of the gas
is the volume of the gas
de! M
(t)
_
P _{s} (t) =
s
Vet)
P
g
(t)
de! M
(t)
=
g
Vet)
: average density of the solid in the total volume V
: average density of the gas in the total volume V
(2)
(3)
_{(}_{4}_{)}
(5)
(6)
"
.
If the cell is subjected to high external pressure the solid particles will get compacted and
thus the density Ps (t) will increase. The following relation is proposed in order to model this
phenomenon:
mod
Ps(t) = Ps(tO)+
~ (Ps (t))
K
_
(_
Ps(t)
) Ps(t)
(7)
where Ps (to) is the initial density of the particles, ~ (Ps (t)) is the average solid pressure as

measured according to the continuum mechanics approach and K(ps (t)) is the elastic bulk
modulus.
The mathematical model is equipped with an equation of state for the gas and the solid of the form:
P _{g}
_{m}_{o}_{d}
=
f _{g} (p _{g} ,T _{g} ),
_
Ps
mod
_
= fs(Ps,T _{s} )
(8)
where T _{s} _{:} average temperature measured according to the continuum mechanical approach.
Observe the asymmetry. The equation of state for the gas is given as a relation between the
pore pressure and the density inside the pores, while the equation of state for the solid is
given as a relation between the average pressure and the average solid density.
Consider a cell, which is burning. The burn fraction F(t) and the burn fraction rate are defined
in equation (9). The burn 'fraction of the solid material describes the fraction of the solid
material that has reacted.
F(t)~Ms(to)Ms(t) =1 Ms(t) ,
M
_{s} (to)
M _{s} (to)
_{(}_{9}_{)}
The burning velocity, b(t) , of a burning front normal to the burning particle surface is given
by a function H which typically is dependent of the gas pressure:
.
mod
bet) = H(fJP _{g} ),
_{d}_{e}_{!}
_{w}_{h}_{e}_{r}_{e} _{f}_{J} _{=} _{1}_{/} _{P}_{a}
In general the following model is assumed:
(10)
·
\
de!
where fJ = 1/ Pa
(11 )
where H (~Pg) expresses the velocity of the burning front normal to the burning surface, and where G(F(t» expresses the size and shape of the burning surface.
This model is not obvious, although it is easily proven when the particles are identical
spheres (see later in this article).
Assume that the gas in the cell decompose, then if the heat conduction between the solid
and the gas is neglected, the following equation is descriptive during a short time interval:
~(cvgMg (t)T _{g} (t») = cvgT _{g} O~ g (t)  P _{g} (t)~V= cvgT~~ g (t),
(12) 

~(cvsMs (t)~(t) ) = cvs~(t)~s (t)  div (r(t)~ii;(t) ) = cvs~(t)~s (t) 

where ~V and ~ii;(t) is zero for a non deforming closed cell. Also 

c _{v}_{g} [J / kg / K]: 
Heat capacity of the gas pr unit mass 

c _{v}_{s} [J / kg / K]: 
Heat capacity of the solid pr unit mass 

T _{g} O [K]: Decomposition temperature for the gas 

~ii;(t) : Lagrangian displacement of the boundaries of a cell during a short time interval 

r(t): Lagrangian stress tensor 

(13) 
Observe that if the initial temperature of the gas equals the decomposition temperature, the temperature of the gas equals the decomposition temperature for all times.
BURNING OF IDENTICAL SPHERICAL PARTICLES IN A CLOSED BOMB
Consider now, as an example, the burning of a granular press loaded explosive consisting of
particles described as identical spheres. Assume that the volume of the cell is constant
(closed bomb). The following equation is then valid if the burning rate of the outer surface is
given by bet) = f(t) :
mod
Ms (t) = N 41l" r(t)2 Ps (t)f(t)
(14)
where N is the total number of particles within the total cell volume V, and b(to) = a is the
initial radius of the particles. The reaction ratio F(t) is now given from (9) and (14) as
To simplify, assume that the densities of the particles are constant, Le.
P _{s} (t) = const. = P
s
(to).
It then follows from (15) that
F(t) =1 r(t)3
a 3
Inserting (16) into (15) gives that
::::>
ret) = aR./(l F(t)
F(t) =
3(1 F(t))2/3
a
f(t)
(15)
(16)
(17)
Compare the relation in (17) with the more general relation in (11). It then follows that
G(F(t)) =
3(1F(t))2/3
a
. in this case when bet) = f(t)
Case with Constant Particle Burn Velocity, f(t) :
As a first
almost trivial test, a case where f(t) = constant = Vo is calculated analytically. In this
case the time development of the burn fraction is independent of any assumed equation of
state of the solid or the gas. The position of the burning front is then given by
f(t) = vo
::::> ret) = a vot,
when t ~ a/va
Inserting (18) into (17) and (16) gives:
(18)
. 3vo _{(}_{1}_{} F(t) _{)}
F(t) _{=}
a
2/3
_{,} ~ F(t)=l(l) vot 3 ,
F(t) = 1,
a
whent~alvo
when t > alvo
(19)
The result of an analytical calculation of the burn fraction as a function of time for a cell with
constant
volume, when a = 10 ^{4} m, ret) = constant = Vo = 1 ml sand
is shown in figure 2.
~0.6
0++1+1
O.OE+OO
3.0E05
6.0E05
Time [5]
9.0E05
1.2E04
Ps (t) = const. = Ps (to)
Figure 2: Analytical calculation of the burn fraction as a function of time for a cell with
constant volume when a = 10 ^{4} m,
ret) = constant = Vo = 1 ml sand Ps (t) = const. = Ps (to).
Calculation of the Different Densities and the Gas Pressure
Assuming again burning of en energetic material in a closed bomb. From equation (1)  (6) and (9) it follows that:
15
s (t) =M _{s} (t)IV =(1 F(t))M s (t)IV =(1 F(t))(M  M g(to)IV
=(1 F(t))p(t)  (1 F(t))Mg(to)IV,
15 _{g} (t) = M g (t)IV =
M M
V
s
(t)
= pet)  15 (t) = p(t)F(t) + (1 F(t))M g (to)IV,
s
P _{s} (t) = P _{s} (to) +.
K
(::
Ps (t)
) p,(t)
() 
M 
()I 

Pg 
t 
= 
g 
t 
M Ms(t) = p(t)F(t)+(1F(t))Mg(to)IV
V ^{g} = V[l V IV]
s
[1 15 (t)1 Ps (t)]
s
(20)
Ms+M _{g}
where pet) =:::
V
If the initial mass of the gas in the pores is very small, Le. M g (to) :::::: 0, and the particles as
such are not compacted, Le. Ps (t) = constant equation (20) gives

(21 ) 

Equation (20) and (21) then gives 

 

P _{s} (t) =(1 F(t))p(t) =(1 F(t)) P s(to), 

 

P g 
(t) = F(t)p(t) = F(t) Ps (to), 

(22) 

 

P 
(t) = 
p(t)F(t) 
= 
P g (t) 

g 
[1(IF(t))p(t)/Ps(t)] 
(1Ps(t)/Ps(to)) 

Ps (t) = Ps (to) 
Figure 3 shows an analytical calculation of the four densities as a function of time in a case
where pet) =p(t _{o} ) = 1.5g / cm ^{3} and Ps (t) = Ps (to) =1.82g / cm ^{3} •
t'5' 1.4
^{E}
Co) 1.2
 C)
;:1
;t:::
~ 0.8
Q)
°0.6
2 ,,
1.2E04
Time _{[}_{5}_{]}
Figure 3: Analytical calculation of the four densities as a function of time in a case where
pet) = p(to) =1.5g / cm ^{3} and Ps (t) = Ps (to) = 1.82g / cm ^{3} •
The equation of state of the gas may be given as:
(23)
where n' , Rand P _{g} max are constants. The unit for n' is mol/kg.
Figure 4 shows analytical calculations of the gas pressure, _{P} _{g} _{,} as a function of time for the
same case as shown in 'figure 3. P
g max is assumed to be 1.82 g/cm ^{3} . In addition
P (t)(I Ps(t)]as given in equation 28 is plotted. This expression is the effective gas
g
P _{s} (t)
pressure, as explained later in the paper.
4.00E+06 ,,

~,
3.50E+06
3.00E+06
a
'(; 2.50E+06
co
~
:::J
~ 2.00E+06
Q)
~
^{c}^{} 1.50E+06
en
co
1.00E+06
(!)
5.00E+05
O.OOE+OO
"""1'ir.l
O.OE+OO 
3.0E05 
6.0E05 
9.0E05 
1.2E04 
Time _{[}_{5}_{]} 
Figure 4: Shows an analytical calculation of the gas pressure, P _{g} _{,} as a function of time for
the case shown in fjgure 3.
P _{g} max = 1.82 g/cm ^{3} _{,}
nRTgPg(t) =1100 Pa.
The other curve
shows the effective gas pressure as given in equation 28.
CONVECTIVE BURNING
Convective Combustion Experiment
A schematic of the convective combustion experiment is shown in Figure 5. The experiment was designed to resemble the configuration used in the experiments which incorporated mechanical initiation [3]. The energetic material is confined in a 2D3.2mm (eightinch) Lexan tube of 25.4mm (oneinch) internal diameter and 76mm (3.Dinch) outer diameter.
·'
Piezoelectric transducers were placed at the top and bottom of the tube as indicated in the figure.
The pressure data were measured using Kistler model 607e3 dynamic gages, and Kistler model 504E4 amplifiers (Type 545A1 filters). The frequency response of the pressure transducer is reported as 50 kHz, with a 1.5psec rise time. A Nicolet, Multipro digital oscilloscope was used to collect the pressure time history data as well as the temporal fiducial record. The digitized Nicolet records were imported into Igor Pro for conversion of the signal from voltage to pressure.
Red Dot smokeless powder, shift 2, lot 73312/94, ignited by a Reynolds, SO80 igniter, was used to ignite the porous bed. The Red Dot was housed in a stainless steel basket, as shown in the Figure 5. The igniter was separated from the porous bed by a 1.27cm (0.5inch) ullage. This combination of igniter aid and free volume were selected to provide minimal bed disturbance and maintain ignition.
HEAD
TRANSDUCER
POROUS BED
SO80
IGNITOR BASKET
Figure 5: Schematic of Convective Combustion Apparatus.
Highspeed motion picture photography was used to evaluate the ignition and combustion event down the length of the tube. Two highspeed Photec IV motion picture framing cameras viewed the experiment 180 ^{0} from each other. The cameras operated at approximately 8000 pictures per second in the quarter framing mode resulting in an overall framing rate range between 15,500 and 36,000 pictures per second. This framing rate resulted in an interframe picture time of 28 to 65 psec for these experiments. Both cameras were 'fitted with a 150mm telephoto lens and operated with an aperture setting of f8.
The combustion rate data were determined from the highspeed motion picture film with the aid of a Vanguard Motion Analysis System. A Reynolds header mounted at the base of the porous bed arrangement was fired with closure of the firing circuit and provided a temporal fiducial for data collection.
Flame propagation and pressure data for the HMX based explosive PBXN5 at 74 percent of theoretical maximum density (TMD) are plotted in Figure 6 a) and b). The pressure data are
appended with the flame location data.
measured, while the pressurization rate, as determined 'from the two pressure signals was 1050m/s. These data indicate that the pressurization wave is moving nearly two times faster than the luminous burn front.
A maximum flame propagation rate of 553 m/s was
PBXN5 at 74°tfc, TMD
a)
200
150
100
50
olla;;;;;:;==:.~
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
Time  msec
b)
4.5
5.0
Figure 6: Flame propagation and pressure data for PBXN5 at 74% TMD.
Mathematical Model
As seen in the experiment, during combustion (not detonation) of energetic materials the velocity of the reaction front usually moves behind the mechanical pressure front originating from the burning solid material. The ability to model this phenomenon is important if the main physical mechanisms are to be captured in the mathematical model. The velocity of tile burning 'front is modeled according to the following relation
(24)
where y and P _{m}_{a}_{x} and Ps bulk are constants. p s bulk is the bulk density of uncompacted
powder. Observe that
Vi CPs ,P _{g} ) ~ H(/lP _{g} ),
vJ15 _{s} ' P _{g} ) = (1 + y)H(/lP _{g} ),
when
15 _{s} ~ 00,
when
15 _{s} = 15 _{s} b'
(25)
The first case reflects a situation for a highly compacted material with only few scattered pores, like in a cheese. The burning will then be like a cigarette. The second case reflects the situation for a more porous material, where the burning mechanism is convective.
Let now LU be the distance between two neighbor cells where one is ignited. This is illustrated in figure 7.
has ignited
cell x
Figure 7: Illustration of the distance LU between two neighbor cells where one is ignited.
Based on the calculated velocity vi CPs' P ) of the ignited cell and the distance LU between
g
this cell and the not ignited neighbor cell, one can calculate an ignition time delay:
T(t) =LU / Vi (15s (t),
P
g
(t) )
(26)
We assume that for a given cell it is possible to track the time of ignition of the cell and keep
it as a variable tig . The ignition criterion for the neighboring cell is then given by:
t tig ~T(t) = LU/Vi (15 _{s} (t), P _{g} (t))
(27)
"., _{,}
The hotspot model [1], [4] and [5] is used as an additional ignition criterion. If the hotspot temperature in a cell, due to rapid compaction of the cell, is higher than the ignition temperature, the cell also gets ignited.
By assuming that the burning of the particles in a cell contribute significantly more to the gas pressure than any gas coming from neighbor cells, the gas pressure in convective burning may be calculated as for the closed bomb. The relation is given by equation (23).
The pressure that is used to calculation of the cell deformation is given by equation (28) as
Pc (t) = Ps (t) + P (t) (1,os(OJ Ps(t)
g
_{(}_{2}_{8}_{)}
where the mechanical average solid pressure and the effective gas pressure contributes to the cell deformation additively. The gas pressure and the effective gas pressure are illustrated in Figure 4.
CONCLUSIONS
This article presents a mathematical model of combustion w~lich can be used in numerical hydro codes. We also present experimental result where a convective burning front moves behind the pressure front during combustion in long tubes. The mathematical model is visualized in analytical studies of burning in a closed bomb.
By studying the combustion mechanism in a variety of experiments, we have constructed a mathematical model based on average quantities, which can then be implemented (as a subroutine) into more general numerical computer codes (Autodyn, Hi Dyna and Hi Nike). The combustion model can be linked with granular mechanical models based on the theory of continuum mechanics. The model enables simulation of the velocity and the pressure in a combustion front, and the model can thus be used to study the corresponding mechanical effect on surrounding materials.
The model is currently being implemented into the explicit numerical code Hi Dyna2D. Comparison between simulations and experimental results will be presented in future papers.
REFERENCES
[1] 
Diep, Q. B., Friis, E. K., Moxnes, J. F., Str0mgard, M., 0degardstuen, G.:"Simulation 

of the Compaction of Energetic Materials", _{3}_{3} ^{r}^{d} International 
Annual Conference of 

ICT, Karlsruhe, Federal Republic of Germany, June _{2}_{5} _{} _{2}_{8}_{,} _{2}_{0}_{0}_{2} 

[2] 
Friis, E., Moxnes, J. F.: "Establishing Material Data of Pyrotechnic Powder Materials by use of Inverse Modeling", 28 ^{t}^{h} International Pyrotechnincs Seminar, Adelaide, Australia, November 4 _{}_{9}_{,}_{2}_{0}_{0}_{1} 

[3] 
Atwood, A., Curran, P., Moxnes, J. F., 0degardstuen, G.: "Mechanical Properties of a Porous Material Studied in a High Speed Piston Driven Compaction experiment", 30 ^{t}^{h} International Annual Conference of ICT, Karlsruhe, Federal Republic of Germany, June 29  July 2, 1999 

[4] 
Moxnes, J. F., 0degardstuen, G.: "Ignition of a Pyrotechnic Powder by "HotSpots" and Ordinary Adiabatic Compression", Karlsruhe, _{3}_{2} ^{n}^{d} International Annual Conference of ICT, Federal Republic of Germany, July _{3} _{} July _{6}_{,}_{2}_{0}_{0}_{1} 

[5] 
Friis, E.K., Moxnes, J.F., 0degardstuen, G.,: "Simulation of HotSpots in Energetic Granular materials Created During Launching of Ammunition" _{2}_{0} ^{t}^{h} International Symposium on Ballistics, Orlando, Florida, USA, September 23  27, 2002 
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