Impact of granular slugs on rigid targets: Effect of grain shape and fracture

15 May 2018

The effect of grain shape and fracture on the interaction of high velocity granular slugs with rigid stationary targets is analysed for targets in normal and inclined orientations. The granular slugs comprise spherical, rod-shaped or cubic grains and are constructed by connecting together spherical sub-particles with either rigid or beam connectors. The case when grain fracture is suppressed (rigid connectors between sub-particles) is first analysed. With increasing grain aspect ratio, the grains tend to slide rather than roll on the target surface and this increases frictional interactions with the target surface. However, these enhanced frictional forces do not affect the momentum transmitted into normally oriented targets due to the symmetry of the problem. By contrast, the break in the symmetry for inclined targets results in the transmitted momentum increasing with grain aspect ratio. Fracture of the grains (as modelled by the fracture of the beam connectors between sub-particles) is shown to affect the momentum transmitted into the inclined targets. This is a consequence of fracture resulting in a change in grain shape. In this case the simulations show that the transmitted momentum is a function of the initial grain shape, the fracture properties of the grains and the impact velocity. In fact, grain fracture results in an enhanced transmitted momentum for initially cubic grains but fracture of grains with a high initial aspect ratio results in a reduction in transmitted momentum as these grains fragment into more spherically shaped grains.