Wave propagation in gaseous small-scale channel flows

J. M. Austin, D. J. Bodony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The propagation and attenuation of an initial shock wave through a mm-scale channel of circular cross-section over lengths up to 2,000 diameters is examined as a model problem for the scaling of viscous effects in compressible flows. Experimental wave velocity measurements and pressure profiles are compared with existing data and theoretical predictions for shock attenuation at large scales and low pressures. Significantly more attenuation is observed than predicted based on streamtube divergence. Simulations of the experiment show that viscous effects need to be included, and the boundary layer behavior is important. A numerical model including boundary layer and channel entrance effects reproduces the wave front velocity measurements, provided a boundary layer transition model is included. A significant late-time pressure rise is observed in experiments and in the simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-557
Number of pages11
JournalShock Waves
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Boundary layers
  • Shock waves
  • Viscous flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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