On the evolution of cellular detonation

D. Scott Stewart, Tariq D. Aslam, Jin Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A detonation shock-evolution equation that predicts both pulsating and cellular detonation has been derived in the limit of near-Chapman-Jouguet detonation, weak curvature, slow temporal variation, and large activation energy with a newly applied technique of the method of successive approximation. The evolution equation describes a wave hierarchy that is consistent with the linear stability theory of the evolution equation. We define the parameter regime for which the equation applies. The transverse wave instability, as indicated from analysis, leads to cellular detonation. Triple-points tracks correspond to shock-shock intersections of the dynamic solution of smooth portions of the front. The dynamics of the cellular solution are consistent with the notion that the power of the detonation front is derived from the normal reaction zone and the triple points are generated as the interaction of the independently propagating fronts and the consequent shock-shock intersections, not as the centers of blast waves. Explicit criteria for prediction of cell widths and cell aspect ratios are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2981-2989
Number of pages9
JournalSymposium (International) on Combustion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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