Calculation of Release Adiabats and Shock Impedance Matching

Research paper by Gerald I. Kerley

Indexed on: 24 Jun '13Published on: 24 Jun '13Published in: Physics - Materials Science


In the analysis of impedance-match experiments, the release adiabat of the standard material is often approximated by reflecting the Hugoniot in the pressure-particle velocity (P-UP) plane. In cases where it has been tested experimentally, this reflected shock approximation (RSA) has been found to be fairly accurate at pressures as high as 100 GPa. The success of the RSA is usually attributed to the lack of thermal effects, i.e., that the Hugoniot and release adiabat are nearly identical in the pressure-density (P-rho) plane. This report demonstrates that this explanation is not correct. The success of the RSA does not arise from the absence of thermal effects--it arises because of thermal effects. When the Hugoniot and adiabat are identical in the P-rho plane, the adiabat lies below the reflected Hugoniot when mapped into the P-UP plane. Material strength effects also cause the exact adiabat to lie below the RSA. A thermal offset between the Hugoniot and the adiabat compensates for these two effects, so that the RSA turns out to give good results for many materials, even at high pressures. However, this fortuitous cancellation of errors does not occur in all cases. This report shows that the RSA is not accurate for two "soft" materials, Teflon and PMMA, and for a high-strength material, tungsten. The issues discussed here apply to use of the RSA at low pressures, not to very high pressures, where it is already well-known to be inaccurate.