The Kinetics Shock Tube is located in the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory (MERL).
The mixing manifold and control panel.
The optical section of the shock tube, where emission and absorption measurements are made.
The driver section can be lengthened to 6.4 m with a stainless-steel driver extension, which has an inner diameter of 14.13 cm and a U-shaped structure with a 23 cm radius of curvature on the centerline. This configuration provides a test time of 25 ms.
Custom inserts are added to the driver section to counteract non-ideal shock tube effects that result in variations in the pressure histories seen in reflected shock wave experiments. Driver inserts, when designed properly, act as sources of expansion waves which can counteract or compensate for gradual increases in reflected shock pressure profiles. When these driver inserts are employed, near-ideal, constant-volume performance in reflected shock wave experiments can be achieved, even at long test times.
Test section pressure profile (2 cm from the end wall) for identical shock wave experiments with and without a driver insert. Driver gas in both experiments was 50% helium/50% nitrogen; the driven gas was argon. The nominal initial reflected shock conditions were T5 = 900K, P5 = 4 atm.