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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Novel computational modeling of spontaneous failure modes in reactive, heterogeneous materials


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Rocket Propulsion Division

opportunity location
13.30.12.C0858 Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93524


name email phone
Timothy Patrick Gallagher 661.810.3727


Solid propellants and energetic materials are heterogeneous materials composed of a viscoelastic polymer with a high-volume fraction of included oxidizers or energetic crystals. These materials exhibit complex, nonlinear mechanical properties and undergo a variety of failure modes based on accumulated damage at the mesoscale and macroscale, extreme deformation due to mechanical loading or interactions with the surrounding fluid (e.g. shock waves, turbulence, flames), and potential fragmentation or detonation based on the environment and interactions with surrounding materials. In general, the occurrence and location of these failures is unknown a priori and traditional methods such as finite element methods with cohesive elements are limited in applicability.  

This research will focus on the development of a peridynamic model for heterogeneous reactive materials (e.g. those undergoing heat and mass transfer due to chemical reactions as well as associated phase change) capable of capturing the failure modes of interest at both the mesoscale and macroscale. Homogenization methods to bridge the mesoscale to macroscale are also required to enable the simulation of full-scale propellants and energetic materials.

Distribution A: Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited. AFRL-2023-3461

key words
peridynamics; energetic materials; high-performance computing; thermochemical modeling; thermomechanical modeling; structural dynamics


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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