High Pressure Shock Tube

​The next generation of clean, fuel-flexible and efficient engines will operate at pressures considerably higher than those commonly seen in engines today. At these pressures many of the fundamental assumptions underlying present combustion modeling become invalid. Basic research is needed to characterize the physical properties and chemical oxidation mechanisms of current and future transportation fuels at high pressures in order to understand reaction initiation and propagation under these conditions. A thorough fundamental understanding of the chemistry and physics of new fuels in high-pressure regimes will require new developments in experimental, theoretical and numerical techniques. The ability to predict fuel/species properties, reaction rates, and ignition behavior is crucial for developing clean and efficient combustion engines ​

The KAUST high pressure shock tube is about 14 meters long and 4 inches in diameter. It can achieve post-shock pressures as high as 100 bar. The KAUST high pressure shock tube complements the low pressure shock tube by providing higher pressure range. It will thus help study chemical kinetics at high pressures and low temperatures. The shock tube driven section will be heated to about 200 C to allow the study of low vapor pressure fuels. 

 The high pressure shock tube uses aluminum diaphragms to reach high pressures behind the reflected shock waves. We have acquired a custom-designed "diaphragm press" that is used to cut and score diaphragms of required thickness. Below is a picture of the KAUST diaphragm press.

diaphragm press.jpg