Learning the initial mechanical response of composite material: structure evolution and energy profile of a plastic bonded explosive under rapid loading

  • Linyuan Wang
  • Kai ZhongEmail author
  • Jie Ma
  • Jian LiuEmail author
  • Hua Xu
Original Paper


Plastic bonded explosive (PBX) is a typical composite material used widely in the defense industry and in aerospace engineering. The mechanical behavior of PBX is an important factor to be considered in its formulation design, but the initial mechanical response is not well understood due to the complexities of atomic interactions in a multi-component system. We applied a hybrid force field to investigate the initial mechanical response of cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine(RDX)-based PBX, by molecular dynamics. The structure evolution shows that the initial damage occurs mainly in the binder region, and is caused by conformational stretching and void propagation. The relationship between loading rate and initial damage indicates that lower loading rate is more beneficial to conformation relaxation, and consequently to increasing strain limitation. The energy profile indicates that the variation of non-bonded interaction energy, especially coulomb energy, has a significant influence on the variation of total energy. Therefore, when designing PBX, good mechanical strength can be expected by selecting polymer and explosive formulations with strong electrostatic interaction.

Graphical abstract

The structure evolution and energy profile of plastic bonded explosive (PBX) under uniaxial tension


Composite material Plastic bonded explosive Mechanical response MD simulation 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11572296).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

894_2018_3913_MOESM1_ESM.docx (428 kb)
Supplementary Materials 1 (1) The principle of short-range correction on van der Waals energy in SB force field; (2) Evolution of stress during 10 NVT-NPT cycles; (3) The appointed space of random filling algorithm; (4) Potential energy curves of bulk RDX; (5) The detailed parameters of hybrid force field in this work. (DOCX 427 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Chemical Materials, China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP)MianyangChina
  3. 3.CNOOC Safety and Technology Services Co., LtdGuangzhouChina

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