High-Pressure Shock Tube

The KAUST high pressure shock tube (HPST) is a 14 m long stainless steel tube with an internal diameter of 10 cm. The HPST is designed to reach reflected shock pressures of 1 - 200 bar and temperatures of 600 – 3000 K. The shock tube can be pre-heated to 200 0C with electrical heating jackets.

The HPST is composed of 3 main sections: driven and driver sections separated with a mid-section which houses two pre-scored aluminum diaphragms. The driven section is 6.6 m long while the driver section length can be varied from 2.2 to 6.6 m. A shock wave is generated when the diaphragm is burst by the difference of pressures between the driver, mid-section and driven sections. Shock wave velocity is measured using 6 PCB type 112A05 pressure transducers. Absolute value of the dynamic pressure is measured using a Kistler type 603B pressure transducer. Homogeneous test times of 1 – 10 ms can be achieved with long length of the driver section and driver gas tailoring.


  • Ignition delay time measurements
  • High-speed combustion imaging
  • Chemical kinetics mechanisms validation
  • Material transformation