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Gaseous Detonation-Driven Fracture of Tubes


Chao, Tong Wa (2004) Gaseous Detonation-Driven Fracture of Tubes. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/TEZP-YC46.


An experimental investigation of fracture response of aluminum 6061-T6 tubes under internal gaseous detonation loading has been carried out. The pressure load, with speeds exceeding 2 km/s, can be characterized as a pressure peak (ranging from 2 to 6 MPa) followed by an expansion wave. The unique combination of this particular traveling load and tube geometry produced fracture data not available before in the open literature. Experimental data of this type are useful for studying the fluid-structure-fracture interaction and various crack curving and branching phenomena, and also for validation for multi-physics and multi-scale modeling.

Axial surface flaws were introduced to control the crack initiation site. Fracture threshold models were developed by combining a static fracture model and an extensively studied dynamic amplification factor for tubes under internal traveling loads. Experiments were also performed on hydrostatically loaded preflawed aluminum 6061-T6 tubes for comparison. Significantly different fracture behavior was observed and the difference was explained by fluid dynamics and energy considerations. The experiments yielded comparison on crack speeds, strain, and pressure histories.

In other experiments, the specimens were also pre-torqued to control the propagation direction of the cracks. Measurements were made on the detonation velocity, strain history, blast pressure from the crack opening, and crack speeds. The curved crack paths were digitized. The Chapman-Jouguet pressure, initial axial flaw length, and torsion level were varied to obtain different crack patterns. The incipient crack kinking angle was found to be consistent with fracture under mixed-mode loading. High-speed movies of the fracture events and blast wave were taken and these were used in interpreting the quantitative data.

Numerical simulations were performed using the commercial explicit finite-element software LS-Dyna. The detonation wave was modeled as a traveling boundary load. Both non-fracturing linear elastic simulations and elastoplastic simulations with fracture were conducted on three-dimensional models. The simulated fracture was compared directly with an experiment with the same conditions. The overall qualitative fracture behavior was captured by the simulation. The forward and backward cracks were observed to branch in both the experiment and simulation.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:crack; crack branching; crack curving; detonation; fracture; pipe; tube
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
Group:GALCIT, Explosion Dynamics Laboratory
Thesis Committee:
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav (chair)
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami
  • Beck, James L.
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik
Defense Date:10 March 2004
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04062004-165940
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1276
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:08 Apr 2004
Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 23:12

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