Shock Focusing Effects on Silica Phase Production during Cyclotrimethylene Trinitramine/2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene Detonations


Detonation is an increasingly studied method for the synthesis of nanomaterials due to the rapid reaction rate producing extreme pressures and temperatures for short durations, which can result in the production of ultra-hard and high-temperature nanomaterials. The present study shows that phase formation in detonation depends on the distribution of inert additives in the explosive charge. Numerical simulations and experimental validation were conducted on silica powders that were shock loaded by detonation of a 3.8 cm diameter cylindrical explosive charge composed of cyclotrimethylene trinitramine, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, and paraffin wax. Silica was incorporated into the explosive in three configurations and at two different starting particle sizes in both simulation and experiments. The detonation residues were purified to concentrate the silica and characterized via x-ray diffraction with Rietveld refinement and optical microscopy. Loading conditions and silica phase morphology were not consistent between the configurations and starting size of silica incorporated into the charge. The implication of these results is that the prediction of phase production in detonation synthesis experiments cannot be based on Chapman-Jouguet steady detonation parameters of the explosive matrix but must also include analysis of shock interaction and heat transfer into the additives incorporated into the explosive.


Materials Science and Engineering

Second Department

Mining Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0021-8979; 1089-7550

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2021 American Institute of Physics, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

28 Jan 2021