Shock Waves

pp 1–12 | Cite as

A novel characteristic length of detonation relevant to supercritical diffraction

  • A. Kawasaki
  • J. KasaharaEmail author
Original Article


For stoichiometric C2H4–O2 and C2H2–O2 mixtures with or without argon dilution, the processes of detonation diffraction have been investigated in a two-dimensional setup through high-speed schlieren imaging, with the characteristic length and the stability of detonation varied by regulating the initial pressure and argon mole fraction of the mixture. In particular, a length relevant to the process of supercritical diffraction (i.e., distance from the channel end corner to reflection point of the transverse detonation on the channel end face, reflection point distance in short) was deduced from obtained sequential schlieren images and analyzed. The reflection point distance can be idealized for the infinitely wide donor channel, and thus, it can be a parameter in which properties intrinsic to each detonable mixture are manifested. Experimental results showed that the reflection point distance was roughly inversely proportional to the initial pressure for identical mixtures and independent of the width of the donor channel at high initial pressures. For a certain combination of the fuel and oxidizer, correlations between the reflection point distance and the initial partial pressure of fuel were very similar regardless of the argon mole fraction. Critical conditions of the diffraction problem could be given for the ratio of the reflection point distance to the channel width, and it was suggested that the critical value lies in a range of 3–5 and does not significantly depend on the stability of the mixture.


Reflection point distance Detonation dynamic parameters Detonation diffraction Critical tube diameter Detonation stability Schlieren imaging 

List of symbols


Chapman–Jouguet (CJ) velocity


Diameter of detonation tube


Activation energy


Initial pressure of mixture


Initial partial pressure of fuel


Channel width


Reflection point distance


Universal gas constant


Initial temperature


von Neumann temperature


Depth of observation chamber


Argon mole fraction


Detonation cell width


Induction time


Reaction time


Detonation stability parameter



The authors thank Ken Matsuoka and Akira Iwakawa for fruitful discussions. This research was financially supported by the Nitto Foundation and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant Numbers 17H06741, 17H03480, and 17K18937.

Supplementary material

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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