An eigenvalue method for computing the burning rates of HMX propellants

Kuldeep Prasad, Richard A. Yetter, Mitchell D. Smooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


A mathematical model for a three-tiered system consisting of solid, liquid, and gas is derived for studying the combustion of HMX propellants. The resulting nonlinear two-point boundary value problem is solved by Newton's method with adaptive gridding techniques. In this study the burning rate is computed as an eigenvalue, which removes the uncertainty associated with employing evaporation and condensation rate laws in its evaluation. Results are presented for laser-assisted and self-deflagration of HMX monopropellants and are compared with experimental results. The burning rates are computed over a wide range of ambient pressures and compare well with experimental results from 1 to 90 atmospheres. The burning rate is found to be proportional to the pressure raised to the 0.82 power. Sensitivity of the burning rate to initial propellant temperature is calculated and found to be extremely low, in agreement with past theoretical predictions and experimental data. Results for laser-assisted combustion show a distinct primary and secondary flame separated by a dark zone, the length of which is dependent upon the incident laser flux intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-416
Number of pages11
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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