Original Article

Shock Waves

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 113-123

The use of driver inserts to reduce non-ideal pressure variations behind reflected shock waves

  • Zekai HongAffiliated withMechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University Email author 
  • , Genny A. PangAffiliated withMechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University
  • , Subith S. VasuAffiliated withMechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University
  • , David F. DavidsonAffiliated withMechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University
  • , Ronald K. HansonAffiliated withMechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University

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Non-ideal shock tube facility effects, such as incident shock wave attenuation, can cause variations in the pressure histories seen in reflected shock wave experiments. These variations can be reduced, and in some cases eliminated, by the use of driver inserts. Driver inserts, when designed properly, act as sources of expansion waves which can counteract or compensate for gradual increases in reflected shock pressure profiles. An algorithm for the design of these inserts is provided, and example pressure measurements are presented that demonstrate the success of this approach. When these driver inserts are employed, near- ideal, constant-volume performance in reflected shock wave experiments can be achieved, even at long test times. This near-ideal behavior simplifies the interpretation of shock tube chemical kinetics experiments, particularly in experiments which are highly sensitive to temperature and pressure changes, such as measurements of ignition delay time of exothermic reactions.