Impact fragmentation of aluminum reactive materials
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We report the fragmentation of brittle, granular aluminum spheres following high velocity impact (0.5-2.0 km/s) on thin steel plates. These spheres, machined from isostatically pressed aluminum powder, represent a prototypical metallic reactive material. The fragments generated by the impacts are collected in a soft-catch apparatus and analyzed down to a length scale of 44 l m. With increasing velocity, there is a transition from an exponential Poisson-process fragment distribution with a characteristic length scale to a power-law behavior indicative of scale-invariance. A normalized power-law distribution with a finite size cutoff is introduced and used to analyze the number and mass distributions of the recovered fragments. At high impact velocities, the power-law behavior dominates the distribution and the power-law exponent is identical to the universal value for brittle fragmentation discussed in recent works. The length scale at which the power-law behavior decays is consistent with the idea that the length of side microbranches or damage zones from primary cracks is governing this cutoff. The transition in fragment distribution at high strain-rates also implies a significant increase in small fragments that can rapidly combust in an ambient atmosphere.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4746788
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