MORE | Spring 2021

Effect of Impurities on Shock-Induced Phase Transformations in Silica Glasses

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Silica glasses are an important component for protecting personal and equipment on battlefields. Impact pressures generated by modern weapons can cause silica glass to crystallize from its original amorphous state to a high-density phase called stishovite, impurities in silica glasses prevent this crystallization. To understand the effect on impurities in phase change, molecular dynamics simulations were performed using different concentrations of Na cations to examine the effect of impurities on shock response. The resulting density and crystal structure were analyzed to show how impurity content affects crystallization under shock loading. Future research would consider the effects of other common impurities.

Student researcher

Jonathan Scott Christen

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Laveen, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2021