Date of this Version



Heat Generation, surface morphology, inclusions, ultrasonic effects, viscoelasticity


The ability to detect explosive materials may be significantly enhanced with local increases in vapor pressure caused by an elevation of the materials'temperature. Recently, ultrasonic excitation has been shown to generate heat within plastic-bonded energetic materials. To investigate the impact of crystal morphology on this heating, samples of elastic binder are implanted with single ammonium perchlorate crystals of two distinct shape groups. Contact piezoelectric transducers are then used to excite the samples at ultrasonicfrequencies. The thermal responses of the crystals are recorded using infrared thermography, and the rate of heating is estimated. Surface temperature increases up to 15 °C are found to arise after 2 s of excitation, with much higher heating levels expected near the inclusions themselves as demonstrated by the chemical decomposition of some crystals under favorable excitation conditions. The rates of heat generation are compared to various crystal morphology features through 2D estimates of length scale, perimeter and irregularity. It is observed that crystals grown in the lab, featuring sharp geometric facets, exhibit a higher probability of significant heat generation than inclusions with more spherical shapes. However, no statistical link is found between the rates of heat generation and the crystal morphology in those samples that do generate significant heating, likely because variations in surface roughness cannot be entirely eliminated during experimentation. It is hoped that this study will lead to a better understanding of the nature of heat generation in energetic materialsfrom ultrasonic sources.


This is the Publisher PDF of J. K. Miller, J. O. Mares Jr., I. E. Gunduz, S. F. Son, J. F. Rhoads, “The impact of crystal morphology on the thermal responses of ultrasonically-excited energetic materials,” J. Applied Physics, Vol. 119(2), p. 024903 (2016). Copyright AIP Publishing, it is available at their site at DOI