Simulating Detonations With a Physics-Based Shock Treatment and Tabulated Chemistry

Alexandra Baumgart, California Institute of Technology

Photo of Alexandra Baumgart

Accurate and efficient detonation models are essential for a range of applications, from new engine technology to supernova explosions. Detonations involve a combination of shock waves and chemical reactions, both of which pose modeling challenges. The physical thickness of a shock is on the order of a few mean free paths, too small to resolve in practical simulations. To ensure numerical stability, this work takes a physical approach to spreading the shock interface by solving the spatially-filtered Euler equations. Previous work validated this approach for non-reacting, shock-dominated flows; the present work tests the framework for detonations. In addition to the challenges with shocks, simulating chemistry is computationally expensive. Each chemical species requires solving an additional, nonlinear equation. The cost of chemistry has been addressed for turbulent flames using the tabulated chemistry method, in which a small subset of variables tracks the progress of reactions in a system. In this work, the tabulated chemistry method is extended to detonations, significantly reducing the computational cost.

Abstract Author(s): Alexandra Baumgart and Guillaume Blanquart