Shock Tube, CFD Modeling, Ignition Delay Times, Bifurcation, Conjugate Heat Transfer modeling, Reflected Shock


An axi-symmetric shock-tube model has been developed to simulate the shock-wave propagation and reflection in both non-reactive and reactive flows. Simulations were performed for the full shock-tube geometry of the high-pressure shock tube facility at Texas A&M University. Computations were carried out in the CFD solver FLUENT based on the finite volume approach and the AUSM+ flux differencing scheme. Adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) algorithm was applied to the time-dependent flow fields to accurately capture and resolve the shock and contact discontinuities as well as the very fine scales associated with the viscous and reactive effects. A conjugate heat transfer model has been incorporated which enhanced the credibility of the simulations. The multi-dimensional, time-dependent numerical simulations resolved all of the relevant scales, ranging from the size of the system to the reaction zone scale. The robustness of the numerical model and the accuracy of the simulations were assessed through validation with the analytical ideal shock-tube theory and experimental data. The numerical method is first applied to the problem of axi-symmetric inviscid flow then viscous effects are incorporated through viscous modeling. The non-idealities in the shock tube have been investigated and quantified, notably the non-ideal transient behavior in the shock tube nozzle section, heat transfer effects from the hot gas to the shock tube side walls, the reflected shock/boundary layer interactions or what is known as bifurcation, and the contact surface/bifurcation interaction resulting into driver gas contamination. The non-reactive model is shown to be capable of accurately simulating the shock and expansion wave propagations and reflections as well as the flow non-uniformities behind the reflected shock wave. Both the inviscid and the viscous non-reactive models provided a baseline for the combustion model iii which involves elementary chemical reactions and requires the coupling of the chemistry with the flow fields adding to the complexity of the problem and thereby requiring tremendous computational resources. Combustion modeling focuses on the ignition process behind the reflected shock wave in undiluted and diluted Hydrogen test gas mixtures. Accurate representation of the Shock - tube reactive flow fields is more likely to be achieved by the means of the LES model in conjunction with the EDC model. The shock-tube CFD model developed herein provides valuable information to the interpretation of the shock-tube experimental data and to the understanding of the impact the facility-dependent non-idealities can have on the ignition delay time measurements.


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Graduation Date



Kassab, Alain


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering;

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering








Release Date

May 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)