Shock Tubes: A Tool to Create Explosions Without Using Explosives

  • I. Obed Samuelraj
  • G. JagadeeshEmail author
Part of the Springer Transactions in Civil and Environmental Engineering book series (STICEE)


Experiments are imperative to study and understand the process of blast interaction with structures and to develop strategies for mitigating a blast wave. Since working with explosives in the outdoors is not a viable option for careful experimentation, alternate laboratory-based techniques to recreate this event have been proposed. These experiments are usually carried out on scaled-down models, and if the experimental data is to be correlated with the prototype, careful attention needs to be paid to the pressure and impulse characteristics of the loading pulse that is produced by a given technique. This chapter reviews some aspects of scaling and some features of fluid–structure interaction that are pertinent to the task at hand, bringing out the importance of obtaining the correct impulse and pressure values using geometric scaling. Shock tubes being devices that can reproduce these values, a brief introduction to their working and tailoring for blast research is provided, following which, some of the shock tubes that are being used for blast testing purposes at our laboratory are then described in detail alongside some correspondence that has been established with existing small-scale explosion-based tests.



We would like to thank the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), New Delhi for funding the research reported in this work. The help received from the staff at the Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock wave Research (LHSR), IISc is acknowledged with thanks. We also wish to thank Dr. Janardhanraj and Mr. Anuj Bisht of our laboratory, and Mr C J Reddy of DMRL, Hyderabad for sharing some of their data and figures for this article.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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