A new facility for studying shock-wave passage over dust layers Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Dust explosion hazards in areas where coal and other flammable materials are found have caused unnecessary loss of life and halted business operations in some instances. The elimination of secondary dust explosion hazards, i.e., reducing dust dispersion, can be characterized in shock tubes to understand shock–dust interactions. For this reason, a new shock-tube test section was developed and integrated into an existing shock-tube facility. The test section has large windows to allow for the use of the shadowgraph technique to track dust-layer growth behind a passing normal shock wave, and it is designed to handle an initial pressure of 1 atm with an incident shock wave Mach number as high as 2 to mimic real-world conditions. The test section features an easily removable dust pan with inserts to allow for adjustment of the dust-layer thickness. The design also allows for changing the experimental variables such as initial pressure, shock Mach number (Formula presented.) , dust-layer thickness, and the characteristics of the dust itself. The characterization experiments presented herein demonstrate the advantages of the authors’ test techniques toward providing new physical insights over a wider range of data than what have been available heretofore in the literature. Limestone dust with a layer thickness of 3.2 mm was subjected to (Formula presented.) , and 1.6 shock waves, and dust-layer rise height was mapped with respect to time after shock passage. Dust particles subjected to a (Formula presented.) shock wave rose more rapidly and to a greater height with respect to shock wave propagation than particles subjected to (Formula presented.) and 1.32 shock waves. Although these results are in general agreement with the literature, the new data also highlight physical trends for dust-layer growth that have not been recorded previously, to the best of the authors’ knowledge. For example, the dust-layer height rises linearly until a certain time where the growth rate is dramatically reduced, and in this second regime there is clear evidence of surface vertical structures at the dust–air interface.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chowdhury, A. Y., Marks, B. D., Johnston, H. G., Mannan, M. S., & Petersen, E. L.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • July 2015