, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 79-91

A computational study of shock speeds in high-performance shock tubes

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This paper describes U2DE, a finite-volume code that numerically solves the Euler equations. The code was used to perform multi-dimensional simulations of the gradual opening of a primary diaphragm in a shock tube. From the simulations, the speed of the developing shock wave was recorded and compared with other estimates. The ability of U2DE to compute shock speed was confirmed by comparing numerical results with the analytic solution for an ideal shock tube. For high initial pressure ratios across the diaphragm, previous experiments have shown that the measured shock speed can exceed the shock speed predicted by one-dimensional models. The shock speeds computed with the present multi-dimensional simulation were higher than those estimated by previous one-dimensional models and, thus, were closer to the experimental measurements. This indicates that multi-dimensional flow effects were partly responsible for the relatively high shock speeds measured in the experiments.

Received 15 November 1996 / Accepted 3 February 1997