Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Horstemeyer, Mark F.

Committee Member

Weed, Richard A.

Committee Member

Woodson, Stanley C.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


When an explosive detonates above ground, air is principally the only material involved in the transmission of shock waves that can result in damage. Hydrodynamic codes that simulate these explosions use equations of state (EOSs) for modeling the behavior of air at these high-pressure, high-velocity conditions. An investigation is made into the effect that the EOS selection for air has on the calculated overpressure-time waveforms of a blast event. Specifically, the ideal gas, Doan-Nickel, and SESAME EOSs in the SHAMRC code were used to reproduce experiments conducted at the Blast Load Simulator (BLS), a large-scale shock tube operated by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, that consisted of subjecting an instrumented rigid box at three angles of orientation inside the BLS to a blast environment. Numerical comparisons were made against experimentally-derived confidence intervals using peak values and several error metrics, and an attempt was made to rank the EOS based on performance. Issues were noted with the duration of decay from maximum pressure to negative phase that resulted in a general underprediction of the integrated impulse regardless of EOS, while the largest errors were noted for gages on faces at 45 to 90 degrees from the initial flow direction. Although no significant differences were noticed in the pressure histories from different EOSs, the ideal gas consistently ranked last in terms of the error metrics considered and simultaneously required the least CPU hours. Similarly, the Doan-Nickel EOS slightly performed better than SESAME while requiring additional wallclock time. The study showed that the Doan-Nickel and SESAME EOSs can produce blast signatures with less errors and more matches in peak pressure and impulse than the ideal gas EOS at the expense of more computational requirements.