Spinning Detonation in a Circular Tube

Brian Taylor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Photo of Brian Taylor

Experiments in 1926 by Campbell and Woodhead [1] provided the earliest evidence that detonation was an unsteady multi-dimensional process. They observed an undulating front tracing helical, luminous paths along the periphery of a glass tube, a phenomenon which came to be known as spinning detonation. This mode of detonation, observed only in reactive fluids near their detonability limits, has a more simple structure than ordinary detonations. This made spinning detonation an obvious subject for study through experiment and theoretical analysis. Advances in understanding the structure, mechanism, and stability of spin detonation have contributed greatly to the progress of detonation science as a whole. The computational resources required for fully three-dimensional simulation have largely precluded simulation of this phenomenon until recently. The present work investigates the behavior of a simple detonation model in a circular tube through linear stability analysis and numerical simulation. The structural differences of cellular detonation and spin are discussed and illustrated through numerical results.

1.  C. Campbell and D. W. Woodhead, J. Chem. Soc. 129:3010-3021, 1926.

Abstract Author(s): Brian Taylor and D. S. Stewart