Multiple-chamber artillery can launch a projectile with energies much higher than single-chamber guns. I'm interested in setting a fundamental upper bound on the energy that a chamber (of a known volume) can impart to a projectile. This would, for example, set a limit on the needed volume for a sub-orbital gun (given a projectile mass). Since the pressure drop-off (like with single-chamber) isn't a constraint, the kinetic energy would be theoretically limited by pressure times volume. But you can't possibly achieve infinite pressure with any chemical reaction.
For that limit, some sources claim that pressures of 60,000 psi can be achieved. Coming from a physics perspective, I understand that a reaction should have a defined energy associated with an individual molecular transition. We've had related questions on physics stack exchange, but my thinking is that chemical equilibrium may be be a necessary tool.
If we ignore reaction kinematics, I believe that the maximum pressure that a reaction can achieve is limited by two things:
- the density of the reactants before reaction and
- the energy of the reaction
Given this, we could simply model the reaction with ideal gas assumptions, resulting in simple algebra. But I think this is wrong. Higher pressure would push the reaction to incomplete combustion. From a chemistry perspective, is there any theoretical maximum pressure that we could restrict all combustion reactions to?