Propagation and failure mechanism of cylindrical detonation in free space

Wenhu Han, Wenjun Kong, Chung King Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cylindrical detonations propagating in free space characterized by different activation energies were computationally studied. It is found that unstable detonations with the 2-D cellular structure have more velocity deficit than those without the cellular structure computed with the 1-D simulation. The weakening is due to lengthening of the detonation structure and the unreacted pocket behind the cylindrical front, while propagation sustenance depends strongly on the re-amplification and regeneration of transverse shocks and triple points. For low activation energies, cellular detonation can be initiated in free space through the subcritical initiation path due to absence of unreacted pockets, and the propagation is not very sensitive to the attenuation of transverse waves and triple points. However, for high activation energy the unreacted pocket aggravates initiation such that even a cellular detonation first established is prone to quench due to the lack of re-amplification of the transverse wave and the triple point. When considering confinement, it is demonstrated that a detonation that quenches in free space can be reinitiated in confined space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-313
Number of pages19
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Cell
  • Cellular instability
  • Curvature
  • Cylindrical detonation


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