The simulation of blast waves is maintaining and maybe increasing its role in fluid dynamics, due to the many important applications primarily in the aerospace, defense and the oil&gas sectors. A Multi-Material Arbitrary Lagrange Eulerian (MM-ALE) solver is generally used, together with FSI (Fluid-Structure Interaction) algorithms. The appliance structure is modeled as Lagrangian, and FSI is used for coupling with the MMALE domains. This computational approach is able to predict accurately the relevant aspects of the blast-structure interaction problem, including the blast wave propagation in the medium for pressurized loading cases and the response of the structure to blast loading.
Here, this methodology is applied to evaluate the effects of the thermal runaway phenomena originating inside an equipment, to be subjected to external void (zero pressure). The study is finalized mainly to assess the space debris production. A finite element model of the ignition, represented as a small TNT charge put inside the device, is built to simulate wave and pressure development, structural failure and solid / fluid parts ejection of the assembly. The goal is to evaluate permanent deformations and / or the fracturing pattern of the assembly and each part. LS-Dyna is the software used to model the phenomenon.
The approach can be applied fruitfully to assess the accomplishment of the structural design of the device, which can be subjected to dangerous environment conditions leading to an explosive thermal runaway, so that a suitable containing structure can be easily integrated, if necessary. This activity has been performed in the frame of ESA contract n. 4000114091/15/NL/RA/gp.