Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Borg, John P.

Second Advisor

Allen, Casey M.

Third Advisor

Mathison, Margaret M.


The field of shock physics as a whole has only recently begun to pay particular attention to modeling heterogeneous materials under shock loading. These materials are important because of their practicality in terms of creating stronger, more shock resistant materials. To understand why they absorb shock impact energy better than homogeneous materials means that the small-scale processes that occur during the shock loading of these heterogeneous materials needs to be understood. Recent computational experiments, called mesoscale simulations, have shown that explicitly incorporating small-scale heterogeneous features into hydrocode simulations allows the bulk shock response of the heterogeneous material to be observed while not requiring the use of empirically determined constitutive equations. Including these features in simulations can offer insights into the irreversible mechanisms that dominate the propagation of shock waves in heterogeneous materials. Three cases where the mesoscale approach for modeling the dynamic shock loading of heterogeneous materials are presented. These materials fall into three categories: granular - dry sand, granular with binder - concrete, and granular contained in a metal foam with a binder - granular explosive contained in an aluminum foam. The processes in which shock waves propagate through each material are addressed and relationships between the three materials are discussed. Particle velocity profiles for dry sand and concrete was obtained from Harvard University and Eglin Air Force Base, respectively. Mesoscale simulations using CTH are conducted for each type of heterogeneous material and the results are compared to the experimental data.