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Multifunctional Shock Tube


Development and Manufacture of the Multifunctional Shock Tube and Investigation into the Rayleigh-Taylor Turbulent Mixing of Different Density Gases

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-NGD/Fluid Mechanics and Gas Dynamics/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Bunyatov K S

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore

Project summary

Works being provided by the present Project are the part of the VNIITF-LLNL collaboration for the investigation into hydrodynamic instabilities and turbulent mixing at the interface of two fluids having different densities. Joint investigations are planned to be performed on the LLNL linear electric motor (LEM) and at newly-developed installation - the multifunctional shock tube (MST). These installations allow to realize different modes for unstationary motion of the contact boundaries between layers with different densities of incompressible (liquid) media as well as compressible (gaseous) media. Under the unstationary motion of the similar contact boundaries the Rayleigh-Taylor instability or the Richtmyer-Meshkov one is developed on the contact boundary when acceleration is directed from a light fluid to a heavy one.

The unique feature of the MST will be its capability to generate shock acceleration (Richtmyer-Meshkov instability) or slowly decreasing acceleration (Rayleigh-Taylor instability) or shock acceleration followed by the slowly decreasing one (for the investigation into the joint action of the Richtmyer-Meshkov and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities).

The instability development leads eventually to the contact boundary disturbance and to the formation of the turbulent mixing region with its size increasing with time. Instability and turbulent mixing parameters registration is realized both by usual shadowgraph and by several improved diagnostics being newly developed:

1) technique LIF for wave number spectrum measurement and mixed mass distribution with using fluorescence generated by a laser light sheet;

2) technique PIV for turbulent velocity distribution measurement with usage of multiply-pulsed laser light sheet and optical indicators;

3) technique MPX for the determination of the turbulent average characteristics in the mixing region while using pulsed X-ray radiation from a point source.

Experiments performed within the framework of the VNIITF-LLNL collaboration will be used to calibrate semiempirical theories describing the turbulent mixing induced by Rayleigh-Taylor and Richtmyer-Meshkov instabilities. According to these experiments the constants will be defined which are used in mathematical codes.

As a result of the present Project execution, computation, design, manufacture and test will be performed for the following installations:

1) Multifunctional shock tube (MST) with three interchangeable drivers for three regimes of operation:

A - operation with the driver I. The shock tube generates a stationary shock wave for the investigation of the turbulence induced by the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability;

B - operation with the driver II. The shock tube generates an unstationary shock wave for the investigation of the turbulence induced by the joint action of Richtmyer-Meshkov and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities.

C - operation with the driver III. The shock tube generates a compression wave for the investigation of the turbulence induced by the Rayleigh-Taylor instability.

2) Multiply-pulsed X-ray source to register the average characteristics of turbulence arising in hydrodynamic flows.


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