Russian Journal of Physical Chemistry B

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 428–439 | Cite as

Nonideal regimes of deflagration and detonation of black powder

  • B. S. Ermolaev
  • A. A. Belyaev
  • S. B. Viktorov
  • K. A. Sleptsov
  • S. Yu. Zharikova
Combustion, Explosion, and Shock Waves


The explosive and deflagration properties of black powder differ significantly from those of modern propellants and compositions based on ammonium nitrate or ammonium perchlorate. Possessing a high combustibility, black powder is capable of maintaining stable combustion at high velocities in various shells, be it steel shells or thin-walled plastic tubes, without experiencing deflagration-to-detonation transition. It is extremely difficult to detonate black powder, even using a powerful booster detonator. The results of numerical simulations of a number of key experiments on the convective combustion and shock initiation of black powder described in the literature are presented. The calculations were performed within the framework of a model developed previously for describing the convective combustion of granulated pyroxylin powders, with small modifications being introduced to allow for the specific properties of black powder. The thermophysical properties of the products of combustion and detonation and the parameters of the equation of state of black powder were determined from thermodynamic calculations. The calculation results were found to be in close agreement with the experimental data. The simulation results were used to analyze the regularities of the wave processes in the system and their relation to the properties of black powder and the experimental conditions. It was demonstrated that the effects observed could be explained by a weak dependence of the burning rate of black powder on the pressure.


Rarefaction Wave Combustion Wave Combustion Front Ammonium Perchlorate Black Powder 
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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. S. Ermolaev
    • 1
  • A. A. Belyaev
    • 1
  • S. B. Viktorov
    • 2
  • K. A. Sleptsov
    • 2
  • S. Yu. Zharikova
    • 2
  1. 1.Semenov Institute of Chemical PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Moscow State Engineering Physics InstituteMoscowRussia

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