Transverse waves in numerical simulations of cellular detonations

Gary Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper the structure of strong transverse waves in two-dimensional numerical simulations of cellular detonations is investigated. Resolution studies are performed and it is shown that much higher resolutions than those generally used are required to ensure that the flow and burning structures are well resolved. Resolutions of less than about 20 numerical points in the characteristic reaction length of the underlying steady detonation give very poor predictions of the shock configurations and burning, with the solution quickly worsening as the resolution drops. It is very difficult and dangerous to attempt to identify the physical structure, evolution and effect on the burning of the transverse waves using such under-resolved calculations. The process of transverse wave and triple point collision and reflection is then examined in a very high-resolution simulation. During the reflection, the slip line and interior triple point associated with the double Mach configuration of strong transverse waves become detached from the front and recede from it, producing a pocket of unburnt gas. The interaction of a forward facing jet of exploding gas with the emerging Mach stem produces a new double Mach configuration. The formation of this new Mach configuration is very similar to that of double Mach reflection of an inert shock wave reflecting from a wedge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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