Steady non-ideal detonations in cylindrical sticks of explosives

Gary Sharpe, M Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical simulations of detonations in cylindrical rate-sticks of highly non-ideal explosives are performed, using a simple model with a weakly pressure-dependent rate law and a pseudo-polytropic equation of state. Some numerical issues with such simulations are investigated, and it is shown that very high resolution (hundreds of points in the reaction zone) are required for highly accurate (converged) solutions. High-resolution simulations are then used to investigate the qualitative dependences of the detonation driving zone structure on the diameter and degree of confinement of the explosive charge. The simulation results are used to show that, given the radius of curvature of the shock at the charge axis, the steady detonation speed and the axial solution are accurately predicted by a quasi-one-dimensional theory, even for cases where the detonation propagates at speeds significantly below the Chapman-Jouguet speed. Given reaction rate and equation of state models, this quasi-one-dimensional theory offers a significant improvement to Wood-Kirkwood theories currently used in industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-58
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Engineering Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005


  • explosives
  • detonation
  • ANFO
  • shock capturing
  • numerical simulation


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