Molecular dynamics and kinetic study of carbon coagulation in the release wave of detonation products

The Journal of Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 2.95). 02/2012; 136(8):084506.


We present a combined molecular dynamics and kinetic study of a carbon cluster aggregation process in thermodynamic conditions relevant for the detonation products of oxygen deficient explosives. Molecular dynamics simulations with the LCBOPII potential under gigapascal pressure and high temperatures indicate that (i) the cluster motion in the detonation gas is compatible with Brownian diffusion and (ii) the coalescence probability is 100% for two clusters entering the interaction cutoff distance. We used these results for a subsequent kinetic study with the Smoluchowski model, with realistic models applied for the physical parameters such as viscosity and cluster size. We found that purely aggregational kinetics yield too fast clustering, with moderate influence of the model parameters. In agreement with previous studies, the introduction of surface reactivity through a simple kinetic model is necessary to approach the clustering time scales suggested by experiments (1000 atoms after 100 ns, 10 000 atoms after 1 mu s). However, these models fail to reach all experimental criteria simultaneously and more complex modelling of the surface process seems desirable to go beyond these current limitations.

Download full-text


Available from: Guillaume Chevrot
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The reaction kinetics of the thermal decomposition of hot, dense liquid TNT was studied from first-principles-based ReaxFF multiscale reactive dynamics simulation strategy. The decomposition process was followed starting from the initial liquid phase, decomposition to radicals, continuing through formation of carbon-clusters products, and finally to formation of the stable gaseous products. The activation energy of the initial endothermic decomposition rate and the subsequent exothermic reactions were determined as a function of density. Analysis of fragments production in different densities and temperatures is presented. We find that unimolecular C–N bond scission dominates at the lower densities (producing NO2), whereas dimer formation and decomposition to TNT derivatives and smaller gaseous fragments prevails at higher compressions. At higher densities, enhanced carbon-clustering is observed, while the initial gaseous fragments formation is suppressed. Increasing the temperature speeds up the production of both clusters and gaseous products. The activation energy for the initial decomposition stage of ambient liquid TNT is 36 kcal/mol, close to the measured value (40 kcal/mol). This value is 25 kcal/mol lower than the corresponding gas phase C–N bond scission. Finally, we suggest a simple linear growth kinetic model for describing the clustering process, which provides very good agreement with simulation results.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · The Journal of Physical Chemistry C