Shock Waves

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 205–216 | Cite as

Experimental study on incident wave speed and the mechanisms of deflagration-to-detonation transition in a bent geometry

  • L. Li
  • J. Li
  • C. J. Teo
  • P. H. Chang
  • B. C. Khoo
Original Article


The study of deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) in bent tubes is important with many potential applications including fuel pipeline and mine tunnel designs for explosion prevention and detonation engines for propulsion. The aim of this study is to exploit low-speed incident shock waves for DDT using an S-shaped geometry and investigate its effectiveness as a DDT enhancement device. Experiments were conducted in a valveless detonation chamber using ethylene–air mixture at room temperature and pressure (303 K, 1 bar). High-speed Schlieren photography was employed to keep track of the wave dynamic evolution. Results showed that waves with velocity as low as 500 m/s can experience a successful DDT process through this S-shaped geometry. To better understand the mechanism, clear images of local explosion processes were captured in either the first curved section or the second curved section depending on the inlet wave velocity, thus proving that this S-shaped tube can act as a two-stage device for DDT. Owing to the curved wall structure, the passing wave was observed to undergo a continuous compression phase which could ignite the local unburnt mixture and finally lead to a local explosion and a detonation transition. Additionally, the phenomenon of shock–vortex interaction near the wave diffraction region was also found to play an important role in the whole process. It was recorded that this interaction could not only result in local head-on reflection of the reflected wave on the wall that could ignite the local mixture, and it could also contribute to the recoupling of the shock–flame complex when a detonation wave is successfully formed in the first curved section.


Deflagration-to-detonation transition S-shaped geometry Bent tube Schlieren Shock–vortex interaction 


  1. 1.
    Frolov, S.M., Aksenov, V.S., Basevich, V.Ya.: Initiation of detonation in sprays of liquid fuel. Adv. Chem. Phys. 24(7), 71–79 (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Frolov, S.M., Aksenov, V.S., Shamshin, I.O.: Shock wave and detonation propagation through U-bend tubes. Proc. Combust. Inst. 31(2), 2421–2428 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kailasanath, K.: Review of propulsion applications of detonation waves. AIAA. J. 39(9), 1698–1708 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Oran, E.S., Gamezo, V.N.: Origins of the deflagration-to-detonation transition in gas-phase combustion. Combust. Flame 148(1–2), 4–47 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Roy, G.D., Frolov, S.M., Borisov, A.A., Netzer, D.W.: Pulse detonation propulsion: challenges, current status, and future perspective. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 30(6), 545–672 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bykovskii, F.A., Zhdan, S.A., Vedernikov, E.F.: Continuous spin detonation in annular combustors. Combust. Explos. Shock Waves. 41(4), 449–459 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bykovskii, F.A., Zhdan, S.A., Vedernikov, E.F.: Continuous spin detonations. J. Propul. Power 22(6), 1204–1216 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bykovskii, F.A., Zhdan, S.A.: Current status of research of continuous detonation in fuel-air mixtures. Combust. Explos. Shock Waves. 51(1), 21–35 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kindracki, J., Wolanski, P., Gut, Z.: Experimental research on the rotating detonation in gaseous fuels-oxygen mixtures. Shock Waves 21(2), 75–84 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kudo, Y., Nagura, Y., Kasahara, J., Sasamoto, Y., Matsuo, A.: Oblique detonation waves stabilized in rectangular-cross-section bent tubes. Proc. Combust. Inst. 33(2), 2319–2326 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nakayama, H., Moriya, T., Kasahara, J., Matsuo, A., Sasamoto, Y., Funaki, I.: Stable detonation wave propagation in rectangular-cross-section curved channels. Combust. Flame 159(2), 859–869 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ciccarelli, G., de Witt, B.: Detonation initiation by shock reflection from an orifice plate. Shock Waves 15(3–4), 259–265 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Frolov, S.M.: Detonation initiation and DDT: experiments and numerical simulations. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Edinburgh (2007)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lee, J.H.S.: The Detonation Phenomenon. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Li, J., Teo, C.J., Lim, K.S., Wen, C., Khoo, B.C.: Deflagration to detonation transition by hybrid obstacles in pulse detonation engines. In: 49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. San Jose, AIAA Paper 2013–3657 (2013)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lu, F.K., Meyers, J.M., Wilson, D.R.: Experimental study of a pulse detonation rocket with Shchelkin spiral. In: Proceedings of the 24th International Symposium on Shock Waves, Beijing (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shchelkin, K.I., Troshin, Y.K.: Gasdynamics of Combustion. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Moscow (1963)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ciccarelli, G., Dorofeev, S.: Flame acceleration and transition to detonation in ducts. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 34(4), 499–550 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gamezo, V.N., Ogawa, T., Oran, E.S.: Numerical simulations of flame propagation and DDT in obstructed channels filled with hydrogen-air mixture. Proc. Combust. Inst. 31(2), 2463–2471 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lee, J.H.S.: Initiation of gaseous detonation. Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem. 28, 75–104 (1977)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Silvestrini, M., Genova, B., Parisi, G., Leon Trujillo, F.J.: Flame acceleration and DDT run-up distance for smooth and obstacles filled tubes. J. Loss Prev. Process Ind. 21(5), 555–562 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Frolov, S.M., Aksenov, V.S., Shamshin, I.O.: Reactive shock and detonation propagation in U-bend tubes. J. Loss Prev. Process Ind. 20(4–6), 501–508 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Frolov, S.M., Aksenov, V.S., Shamshin, I.O.: Propagation of shock and detonation waves in channels with U-shaped bends of limiting curvature. Russ. J. Phys. Chem. B 2(5), 759–774 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gwak, M., Yoh, J.J.: Effect of multi-bend geometry on deflagration to detonation transition of a hydrocarbon-air mixture in tubes. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 38(26), 11446–11457 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gaathaug, A.V., Vaagsaether, K., Bjerketvedt, D.: Experimental and numerical investigation of DDT in hydrogen-air behind a single obstacle. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 37(22), 17606–17615 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zel’dovich, Y.B., Librovich, V.B., Makhviladze, G.M., Sivashinsky, G.I.: On the development of detonation in a nonuniformly pre-heated gas. Astronaut. Acta 15, 313–321 (1970)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Skews, B.W.: Shock diffraction on rounded corners. In: Proceedings of the Third Australasian Conference on Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics, Sydney (1968)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bhattacharjee, R.R.: Experimental Investigation of Detonation Re-initiation Mechanisms Following a Mach Reflection of a Quenched Detonation. Masters Thesis. University of Ottawa, Ottawa (2013)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Boeck, L.R., Kellenberger, M., Rainsford, G., Ciccarelli, G.: Simultaneous OH-PLIF and schlieren imaging of flame acceleration in an obstacle-laden channel. Proc. Combust. Inst. 36(2), 2807–2814 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ishii, K., Monwar, M.: Detonation propagation with velocity deficits in narrow channels. Proc. Combust. Inst. 33(2), 2359–2366 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Polley, N.L., Egbert, M.Q., Petersen, E.L.: Methods of re-initiation and critical conditions for a planar detonation transforming to a cylindrical detonation within a confined volume. Combust. Flame 160(1), 212–221 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Temasek LaboratoriesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations