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Optimization of the dynamic behavior of strongly nonlinear heterogeneous materials


New aspects of strongly nonlinear wave and structural phenomena in granular media are developed numerically, theoretically and experimentally. One-dimensional chains of particles and compressed powder composites are the two main types of materials considered here. Typical granular assemblies consist of linearly elastic spheres or layers of masses and effective nonlinear springs in one- dimensional columns for dynamic testing. These materials are highly sensitive to initial and boundary conditions, making them useful for acoustic and shock-mitigating applications. One-dimensional assemblies of spherical particles are examples of strongly nonlinear systems with unique properties. For example, if initially uncompressed, these materials have a sound speed equal to zero ("sonic vacuum"), supporting strongly nonlinear compression solitary waves with a finite width. Different types of assembled metamaterials will be presented with a discussion of the material's response to static compression. The 'acoustic diode effect' will be presented, which may be useful in shock mitigation applications. Systems with controlled dissipation will also be discussed from an experimental and theoretical standpoint emphasizing the critical viscosity that defines the transition from an oscillatory to monotonous shock profile. The dynamic compression of compressed powder composites may lead to self-organizing mesoscale structures in two and three dimensions. A reactive granular material composed of a compressed mixture of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), tungsten (W) and aluminum (Al) fine-grain powders exhibit this behavior. Quasistatic, Hopkinson bar, and drop-weight experiments show that composite materials with a high porosity and fine metallic particles exhibit a higher strength than less porous mixtures with larger particles, given the same mass fraction of constituents. A two-dimensional Eulerian hydrocode is implemented to investigate the mechanical deformation and failure of the compressed powder samples in simulated drop-weight tests. The calculations indicate that the dynamic formation of mesoscale force chains increase the strength of the sample. This is also apparent in three-dimensional finite element calculations of drop- weight test simulations using LS-Dyna despite a higher granular bulk coordination number, and an increased mobility of individual grains

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