Local Deformation and Failure Mechanisms of Polymer Bonded Energetic Materials Subjected to High Strain Rate Loading

Suraj Ravindran, Addis Tessema, Addis Kidane

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46 Scopus citations


The dynamic multi-scale deformation mechanism of polymer bonded energetic material is investigated. Samples made of polymer bonded sugar (a known simulate for polymer bonded explosives) with 85 % sugar crystals and 15 % polymer binder are used. The samples are dynamically compressed using a split Hopkinson pressure bar. Using a high magnification, meso-scale 2D digital image correlation experimental setup, the local deformation is measured in situ at sub-grain scale. The macroscale deformation mechanism is also investigated with the help of 3D digital image correlation. From the mesoscale experiment, it is observed that the local strain distribution in the specimen is highly heterogeneous with large strain localization occurring at the polymer rich areas between the crystal boundaries. Deformations of the majority of the crystals are minimal, and usually realign themselves to accommodate large deformation of the binder by rigid rotation and sliding. Due to this, delamination of the polymer binder from crystals and binder cracking are the main local failure modes. It is also observed that the presence of small crushed crystals from material processing are the favorable sites for this opening mode failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-156
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The financial support of Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) under Grant No. FA9550-14-1-0209 is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc.


  • Dynamic experiments
  • Energetic materials
  • Mesoscale
  • PBS
  • PBX


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