Breakup of shells under explosion and impact

F. K. Wittel, F. Kun, H. J. Hermann, B. H. Kröplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


A theoretical and experimental study of the fragmentation of closed thin shells made of a disordered brittle material is presented. Experiments were performed on eggshells under two different loading conditions: fragmentation due to an impact with a hard wall and explosion by a combustion mixture giving rise to power law fragment size distributions. For the theoretical investigations a three-dimensional discrete element model of shells is constructed. Molecular dynamics simulations of the two loading cases resulted in power law fragment mass distributions in satisfactory agreement with experiments. Based on large scale simulations we give evidence that power law distributions arise due to an underlying phase transition which proved to be abrupt and continuous for explosion and impact, respectively. Our results demonstrate that the fragmentation of closed shells defines a universality class, different from that of two- and three-dimensional bulk systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016108
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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