Hariharan, M.S., Janardhanraj, S., Saravanan, S. et al. Shock Waves (2011) 21: 301. doi:10.1007/s00193-010-0296-5
The prime focus of this study is to design a 50 mm internal diameter diaphragmless shock tube that can be used in an industrial facility for repeated loading of shock waves. The instantaneous rise in pressure and temperature of a medium can be used in a variety of industrial applications. We designed, fabricated and tested three different shock wave generators of which one system employs a highly elastic rubber membrane and the other systems use a fast acting pneumatic valve instead of conventional metal diaphragms. The valve opening speed is obtained with the help of a high speed camera. For shock generation systems with a pneumatic cylinder, it ranges from 0.325 to 1.15 m/s while it is around 8.3 m/s for the rubber membrane. Experiments are conducted using the three diaphragmless systems and the results obtained are analyzed carefully to obtain a relation between the opening speed of the valve and the amount of gas that is actually utilized in the generation of the shock wave for each system. The rubber membrane is not suitable for industrial applications because it needs to be replaced regularly and cannot withstand high driver pressures. The maximum shock Mach number obtained using the new diaphragmless system that uses the pneumatic valve is 2.125 ± 0.2%. This system shows much promise for automation in an industrial environment.