The Key Role of Surface Tension in the Theory of Bubble-Assisted Explosion/Combustion Triggering

Report No. ARL-TR-4562
Authors: Michael Grinfeld
Date/Pages: September 2008; 20 pages
Abstract: We have revised the classical and widely accepted theory of (Bowden, F. P.; Yoffe, A. D. The Initiation and Growth of Explosion in Liquids and Solids; Cambridge University Press: New York, NY, 1952) explaining the initiation of explosion/combustion by means of adiabatic compression of the dissolved gaseous bubbles within condensed liquid substances. The main thrust of our study is to explore the role of surface tension at the interface liquid explosive/gaseous bubble. The potential impotence of such a study is associated with smallness of the bubbles. Their smallness causes high overpressure within the bubble as compared with the pressure within the surrounding explosive/flammable liquid due to the Laplace excess pressure. It is demonstrated that the influence of the surface tension can be indeed quite dramatic.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2008