Effect of particle spin on the spatio-thermal distribution of incandescent materials released from explosions

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This work investigates the influence of particle spin in the overall motion and cooling of incandescent fragments released from explosions and blast-like events. It is an extension of a recent work by Zohdi (Comput Mech 63:701–711, 2018. 10.1007/s00466-018-1617-2), in the sense that particle spin is now incorporated into the problem’s dynamics. We want to assess how this affects the footprint imparted by the particles (with respect to both its size and temperature) on the surface onto which they land after being released. To this aim, we develop a simple computational model based on discrete particle dynamics, with which we are able to compute the trajectories of the fragments and their thermal states over time. Drag forces, Magnus effects, gravitational settling, drag-induced heating, as well as convective and radiative cooling are considered. Numerical simulations are provided to show the extent of the spin effects and illustrate the applicability of the proposed scheme. We believe that simple computational models of the type as shown here may be a useful tool to predict the fragments’ footprint, and thereby help define safety guidelines at places wherein such explosions (or the release of incandescent materials) may occur—such as in industrial facilities, construction sites, military installations, and many other workplaces.

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  1. 1.

    We assume here that the magnitudes of both the velocity and spin pulses are the same for all fragments. This may sound a rather simplistic assumption, but at least for the velocity pulse it is consistent with camera observations (see, e.g., Zohdi and Cabalo [22]). For the spin pulse, in turn, this can be easily replaced by a more refined model in which the magnitudes vary in some form, e.g., randomly—or in proportion to some of the particles´ properties such as mass, diameter or rotational inertia..

  2. 2.

    A useful measure to ascertain such an assumption is the Biot number, which must be small. The Biot number for spheres scales with the ratio of the sphere´s volume to the sphere´s surface area, i.e., with the sphere´s radius. Since the particles are assumed to be small, the Biot number will always be small (typically, much smaller than one).

  3. 3.

    The effects of particle spin on the convection coefficient, and thereby on the overall convective cooling rates of the fragments, are neglected here. This is arguable, and we leave it as matter of future research.


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This work was supported by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), Brazil, under the Grant 309748/2015-1.

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Correspondence to Eduardo M. B. Campello.

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Campello, E.M.B. Effect of particle spin on the spatio-thermal distribution of incandescent materials released from explosions. J Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. Eng. 42, 40 (2020) doi:10.1007/s40430-019-2123-y

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  • Particles
  • Spin
  • Incandescent fragments
  • Magnus effect
  • Cooling
  • Discrete element method (DEM)