Shock Initiation of Energetic Materials Due to Mesoscale Features

Period of Performance: 08/04/2011 - 08/04/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Illinoisrocstar LLC
1800 S. Oak St. Suite 108
Champaign, IL 61820
Principal Investigator


IllinoisRocstar LLC will develop, validate, and commercialize computational tools that predict the shock sensitivity of energetic materials as a function of their formulations. Specifically we will (i) use our novel packing code, Rocpack, to generate morphologies of interest for shock sensitivity assessments that include mesoscale features and energetic crystal models; (ii) modify our shock physics code, RocSDT, to include appropriate chemistry, ignition and growth, and material models; and (iii) extend RocSDT to propagate shocks of various strengths through realistic packs to predict the onset of detonation. The RocSDT code will become a module within a larger computational system for integrated modeling of energetic materials at the meso- and macroscales known as IMSim (Insensitive Munitions Simulation). Determining the thermal and mechanical sensitivity of new and existing energetic materials is important for transportation, safety and storage concerns. The sensitivity of energetic materials is a function of material microstructure, especially crystal size, crystal size distribution, and void content. Predicting thermal and mechanical sensitivity without full-scale testing requires modeling and simulation at the mesoscale, with models that directly include the as-cast physical and chemical properties of the crystals, binders, and their interfaces.