Mechanical Engineering ETDs


Joseph Conroy

Publication Date



We present an experimental study that visualizes the effects of a planar shock front passing through air (or SF6) randomly seeded with glycol droplets or smoke particles. It was observed, using a high-speed multiple-CCD (charge coupled device) camera, that an instability occurs as the shock wave bypasses the slow-moving column of gas. This produced evident perturbation at the interface. The flow morphology of the gas column consists of a pair of counter-rotating vortices that develops downstream from the initial conditions as well as some secondary instabilities (in certain cases). Some images also show a trailing tail due to larger particles lagging behind the flow. The data and images obtained in the experiments were gathered using a tilt-able shock tube made of solid stock aluminum, two green-light lasers, and other high-speed diagnostics. Our experimental data cover a range of Mach numbers from 1.22 to 2.02. Each experimental run was performed with the shock tube in the horizontal position, causing only 2-D visualization effects.


Shear flow, Vortex-motion, Shock waves, Stokes equations, Shock tubes.

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Truman, Randall

Second Committee Member

Nygren, Richard

Document Type