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A rapid opening sleeve valve for a diaphragmless shock tube

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This paper describes a novel pneumatically operated diaphragmless shock tube valve that is capable of generating well-formed shock waves within a driven tube which has a length to diameter ratio of 122. Its development was motivated by the requirement for an automated shock tube—an application for which the conventional bursting diaphragm method is not suited. The valve operates reliably, without any need for adjustment to its setup, over a wide range of driver pressures. Shock waves of up to Mach 2.4 have been generated in test gas at atmospheric pressure. A model for assessing the performance of the valve was developed and calibrated with experimental data. It indicated that opening times in the region of 0.5 ms were attained. By comparison, the opening time of a burst diaphragm is approximately 0.2–0.3 ms. Features of the valve include a streamlined flow path, which helps optimise the efficiency of the shock tube, automated operation and a test turn around time of the order of a few minutes.

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Correspondence to T. J. Cloete.

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Communicated by B.W. Skews.

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Downey, M.S., Cloete, T.J. & Yates, A.D.B. A rapid opening sleeve valve for a diaphragmless shock tube. Shock Waves 21, 315–319 (2011).

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