Purdue University Graduate School
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The Thermomechanics of Composite Energetic Materials in Response to High-Frequency Excitation and Extreme Temperatures

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posted on 2021-08-26, 17:32 authored by Jacob Thomas MorrisJacob Thomas Morris
To safely transport and use energetic materials, it is important that their response to mechanical excitation at various temperatures be well understood. In order to better understand the thermomechanical response of these materials, samples of inert and live PBXN-109 are fabricated and excited between 10-20 kHz. The resonance of the system is found using a Laser Doppler Vibrometer and the temperature at the surface of the sample is measured with an infrared camera. Samples are loaded into an environmental chamber and tested at -10, 22, 55, and 120 ˚C. Using multiple procedures, the shift in resonant frequency caused by changing material properties can be predicted and followed to elicit the greatest thermal response. Twelve samples are excited using a fluctuating sinusoidal input at each temperature range. The samples are shown to generate significantly less heat from mechanical excitation as ambient temperature increases. Heating rates are also severely affected by temperature. Samples tested at 120 ˚C heat at a rate of ~0.5 ˚C/min, while samples at -10 ˚C heat at ~ 5.7 ˚C/min. Despite the large difference in heating rates samples tested at higher ambient temperatures reached higher peak temperatures. This indicates that the strong temperature dependence of the material properties is likely key to reducing heating caused by mechanical excitation. It also indicates that proper control of ambient temperature should be considered when transporting or using munition systems to ensure safety and proper functionality.


Grant No. FA8651-18-2-0004


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jeff Rhoads

Additional Committee Member 2

James Gibert

Additional Committee Member 3

Stuart J. Bolton

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