Date of Award

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Grujicic, Mica

Committee Member

Tong, Chenning

Committee Member

Ochterbeck, Jay

Abstract

A new concept solution for improving survivability of the light tactical military vehicles to blast-loads resulting from a shallow-buried mine detonated underneath such vehicles is proposed and critically assessed using computational engineering methods and tools. The solution is inspired by the principle of operation of the rocket-engine nozzles, in general and the so called 'pulse detonation' rocket engines, in particular, and is an extension of the recently introduced so-called 'blast chimney' concept (essentially a vertical channel connecting the bottom and the roof and passing through the cabin of a light tactical vehicle).
Relative to the blast-chimney concept, the new solution offers benefits since it does not compromise the cabin space or the ability of the vehicle occupants to scout the environment and, is not expected to, degrade the vehicle's off-road structural durability/reliability. The proposed concept utilizes properly sized and shaped side-vent channels attached to the V-shaped vehicle underbody. The utility and the blast-mitigation capacity of this concept is examined in the present work using different (i.e. coupled Eulerian/Lagrangian and coupled finite-element/discrete-particle) computational methods and tools.
To maximize the blast-mitigation potential of the proposed solution, standard engineering optimization methods and tools are employed for the design of side-vent-channels. It is shown that, by proper shaping and sizing of the side-vent-channels, venting of ejected soil and supersonically-expanding gaseous detonation products can be promoted, resulting in an increase in the downward thrust on the targeted vehicle.
Furthermore, it is found that optimization of the geometry and size of the side-vent-channel solution for the maximum blast-mitigation performance, requires consideration of a tradeoff between the maximum reductions in the detonation-induced total momentum transferred to, and the acceleration acquired by, the target vehicle. The results obtained farther confirmed theblast-mitigation effects of the side-vent-channels, although the extent of these effects is relatively small (3-4%).

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