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One-dimensional linear stability of curved detonations


S. D. Watt and G. J. Sharpe Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 2004 460, 2551-2568 doi: 10.1098/rspa.2004.1290

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10.1098/rspa.2004.1290

One-dimensional linear stability of curved detonations


By S. D. Watt a n d G. J. S h a r p e School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK (simon watt@bigfoot.com)
Received 25 April 2003; accepted 30 January 2004; published online 2 June 2004

In this paper, a one-dimensional stability analysis of weakly curved, quasi-steady detonation waves is performed using a numerical shooting method, for an idealized detonation with a single irreversible reaction. Neutral stability boundaries are determined and shown in an activation temperaturecurvature diagram, and the dependence of the complex growth rates on curvature is investigated for several cases. It is shown that increasing curvature destabilizes detonation waves, and hence curved detonations can be unstable even when the planar front is stable. Even a small increase in curvature can signicantly destabilize the wave. It is also shown that curved detonations are always unstable suciently near the critical curvature above which there are no underlying quasi-steady solutions.
Keywords: pulsating instability; shock waves; reactive ow; neutral stability boundaries

1. Introduction
Detonation waves are rapid (supersonic) combustion waves, in which a strong shock ignites the fuel and the heat released by the burning then drives the shock into fresh fuel. Experiments show that detonations usually propagate in an unsteady, unstable manner (Fickett & Davis 1979). In some cases the front pulsates as it propagates, such as when blunt bodies are red into reactive gases (e.g. Lehr 1972), or in tubes with square cross-sections (Haloua et al . 2000). In these cases the front speed oscillates with a regular or irregular period. Much progress in understanding such pulsating detonation fronts has been achieved by considering the one-dimensional stability of the underlying steady detonation wave, either by linear stability analyses (Lee & Stewart 1990; Sharpe 1997, 1999; Short & Dold 1996), weakly nonlinear theories (Yao & Stewart 1996; Short 2001) or by fully nonlinear numerical simulations (Bourlioux et al . 1991; Short & Quirk 1997; Short et al . 1999; Sharpe & Falle 2000a, b; Short & Sharpe 2002). These previous works consider the stability of a planar detonation wave. However, in many cases the underlying steady or quasi-steady front is curved, such as at the tip of the bow shock ahead of supersonic blunt bodies. Hence one may ask what eect curvature of the front has on the stability of the detonation wave. Curvature of detonation fronts is important in many applications, such as in spherically or cylindrically expanding detonation fronts (e.g. Sharpe 2000a), detonations in condensed-phase explosive sticks (Bdzil 1981; Stewart 1998), where expansion of
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the detonation products behind the front causes the front to be curved, or detonation diraction problems where the detonation exits from the end of an open tube (Schultz & Shepherd 2000). The eects of weak curvature on the structure and propagation speed of detonation waves has been extensively investigated using steady or quasi-steady quasi-one-dimensional analyses (Bdzil 1981; Klein 1991; Klein & Stewart 1993; Stewart & Bdzil 1988; Yao 1996; Yao & Stewart 1996; Stewart 1998; Sharpe 2000a, b; Short & Sharpe 2004). In these approximations the front is assumed to be weakly curved and slowly varying, such that the length-scale of the reaction zone is much shorter than the radius of curvature and that the front is evolving on a much longer time-scale than the time it takes a particle to traverse the reaction zone. These analyses show that curved detonations travel slower than the planar detonation, are of the eigenvalue type with a frozen sonic point inside the reaction zone (Fickett & Davis 1979) and have backward S-shaped detonation speedcurvature (Dn ) diagrams, with an upper branch corresponding to propagating detonations and an associated critical curvature above which quasi-steady detonations cannot propagate. Comparisons of the results of the quasi-steady, quasi-one-dimensional analysis with full, time-dependent numerical simulations of stable curved detonations, e.g. for spherically or cylindrically expanding detonation fronts (Sharpe 2000a) or detonation diraction (Aslam & Stewart 1999), are in very good agreement. In this paper we perform a one-dimensional linear stability analysis of steadily or quasi-steadily propagating weakly curved detonations with a single, irreversible reaction. A referee pointed out that a similar analysis to that in this paper was done previously in the thesis by Yao (1996). However, Yao (1996) gives results for only one parameter set (corresponding to a case where the planar detonation is highly unstable). The main purpose of this paper is to determine one-dimensional neutral stability boundaries and whether in general increasing curvature has a stabilizing or destabilizing eect on the detonation, including how rapidly the wave is stabilized/destabilized as the curvature increases, points for which Yao (1996) did not give results or discuss. Determining stability boundaries and the eect of dierent parameters on the stability of the wave is the major role of a linear stability analysis. While unstable detonations frequently have a multi-dimensional structure, socalled cellular detonations, if a detonation becomes more unstable in one dimension, it also becomes more multi-dimensionally unstable (Sharpe 1997; Short & Stewart 1998); hence it is sucient to consider the pulsating instability for this purpose. Indeed, this is a philosophy being adopted for determining the eects of parameters on detonation stability for models with realistic multi-step chemistry representing specic fuels, such as the eect of argon dilution on acetyleneoxygen detonation stability (Radulescu et al . 2002). It is computationally prohibitive to perform accurate multi-dimensional numerical simulations for realistic chemistry due to the orders of magnitude dierence between the wavelength of the instability (detonation cell size) and the reaction lengths, the need for very high resolution in order to obtain accurate results and the very long nonlinear evolution time of the cellular instability (Sharpe & Falle 2000c; Sharpe 2001). However, if one is merely interested in how a parameter or initial state aects the stability of the detonation, then it is sucient to perform one-dimensional calculations, for which it is currently feasible to obtain accurate results, of the pulsating instability for dierent values of the parameter. More irregular oscillations then correlate with a more irregular cellular structure (Radulescu et al . 2002).
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The plan of the paper is as follows: the governing equations are given in 2 and the quasi-steady solutions are described in 3; the linearized equations are derived in 4 and solved in 5; the results and conclusions are given in 6 and 7, respectively.

2. Governing equations
Consider a detonation propagating through a reactive ideal uid with a single, irreversible reaction. The governing equations to model this case for a curved detonation are derived in Yao & Stewart (1996), using intrinsic, shock-attached curvilinear coordinates. In this paper we consider quasi-one-dimensional, weakly curved detonations ( 1), i.e. we assume that the reaction zone is much shorter than the radius of curvature and that the curvature changes very slowly along the shock front on the reaction zone length-scale, so that the reaction zone structure depends spatially only on the distance normal to the front, n. Note that for spherically symmetric or axisymmetric cylindrically expanding detonations the problem is completely one dimensional (rather than just quasi-one dimensional), i.e. it depends only on the radial direction (n is then the distance from the shock front in the radial direction). Under this quasi-one-dimensional approximation, the governing equations in Yao & Stewart (1996) reduce, to O(), to + (un ) + (un + Dn ) = 0, (2.1) t n 1 p un un + Dn + un + = 0, (2.2) t n n p e e 2 = 0, (2.3) + un + un t n t n + un + exp( /T ) = 0, (2.4) t n where is the density, p is the pressure, un is the uid velocity in the direction normal to the front, Dn is the shock velocity, is the reaction progress variable ( = 1 for unburnt and = 0 for burnt), e is the energy per unit mass, given by p q(1 ), e= ( 1) is the curvature, q is the heat of reaction, is the activation temperature, and is the rate constant. These equations have been non-dimensionalized such that the density in the initial (upstream, unburnt) state is unity, the shock velocity for the planar ( = 0) front is unity, the unit length is given by the half-reaction length of the planar wave (Erpenbeck 1964) and the temperature is given by T = c2 p = ,

where c is the dimensionless sound speed. Detonation stability results are usually given in terms of Erpenbecks (1964) scales for the activation temperature and heat release, E and Q, i.e. those scaled with the upstream temperature. See Sharpe (1997) for a conversion between these scalings and ours. In this paper we set Q = 50 and = 1.2, and vary E and .
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3. The quasi-steady solutions


In this section we consider the underlying steady, or more strictly quasi-steady, solutions of the governing equations (2.1)(2.4), i.e. we assume that the detonation front is evolving on a time-scale which is much longer than the time it takes a particle to traverse the reaction zone, so that we are considering the case where both the speed and structure of the wave are slowly varying. Note that, for curved detonations propagating in condensed-phase explosives, the underlying wave can be strictly steady in the front rest frame. The governing equations then become d(0 un0 ) + 0 (un0 + Dn ) = 0, dn dun0 1 dp0 un0 + = 0, dn 0 dn de0 p0 d0 2 = 0, dn 0 dn d0 + 0 exp( /T0 ) = 0, un0 dn (3.1) (3.2) (3.3) (3.4)

where a 0 subscript denotes quantities in the quasi-steady detonation. Note that these are just the leading-order equations when the variables are asymptotically expanded in the slow time-scale (see the appendix). The jump conditions across the shock are + un+ = Dn ,
2 p+ p = Dn 1

1 , +

e+ +

p+ 2 + 1 u2 = e + p + 1 Dn , 2 + 2 n+ + = 1,

where the minus () subscript denotes quantities in the upstream, unshocked state and the plus (+) subscript denotes quantities immediately behind the shock, with p the smaller root of 2q( 2 1) = (1 p )2 . The four equations (3.1)(3.4) can be reduced to one equation, un0 dun0 = 2 2 W , d0 c0 un0 0 where W0 = 0 exp( /c2 ), 0 = [( 1)qW0 + c2 (un0 + Dn )] 0 is the (modied) thermicity and
2 c2 = p + ( 1)[(Dn u2 )/2 + q(1 0 )]. 0 n0

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0.95

0.90 Dn 0.85

0.80

0.75 0 0.005

0.01

Figure 1. The Dn curves for E = 20 (dotted line), E = 25.26 (dot-dashed line), E = 31.05 (dashed lines) and E = 35.84 (solid line).

The generalized ChapmanJouguet condition is that u2 = c2 at = 0. This conn0 0 dition yields the normal velocity, uCJ , and the mass fraction, CJ , at the CJ point. n0 0 Expanding about the CJ point, the derivative (dun0 /d0 )CJ can be found. Using this to determine the solution near the CJ point, the complete solution can be found numerically, by integrating away from the CJ point to the shock. For a given curvature, , there is a value of the shock velocity, Dn , such that the shock conditions are satised. This value is not necessarily unique, but only one is on the upper branch of the Dn curve, which is relevant to propagating detonations. This numerical procedure is described in Sharpe (2000a). For xed E, Q and , there is a critical curvature above which there is no quasi-steady solution. This is the turning point on the Dn curve. Figure 1 shows Dn curves for the four activation temperatures (E) used in 6. We can see that as the activation temperature increases, the range of curvature for which a quasi-steady solution exists decreases. Note, however, that for the case of cylindrically or spherically expanding detonations the quasi-steady assumption must formally break down at the critical curvature point, since Dn will change rapidly near this point.

4. The linearized equations


In this section we determine the linear stability equations governing the leading-order quasi-steady solutions (cf. Yao 1996). Note that linear stability analysis of quasisteady waves (not just strictly steady waves) is standard, a related example in the area of reactive ow is the linear stability of spherically expanding ames (Addabbo et al . 2003). A formal analysis involving the slow time-scale of the underlying quasisteady wave is given in the appendix, where it is shown that the small time-dependent terms ignored in determining the leading-order quasi-steady solutions in the previous section do not aect the linear stability of these solutions to leading order.
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To analyse the linear stability of the quasi-steady solution found previously, we perturb the solution so that the position of the (perturbed) shock has the form n(t) = et , 1,

i.e. a perturbation which is normal to the front. Note that for spherically or cylindrically expanding fronts this corresponds to a symmetric perturbation in the radial direction. We transform to a frame moving with the perturbed shock: n = n et and t = t, where the velocity of the perturbed shock in the n direction is Dn = Dn + et with Dn = 2 et .

The governing equations (2.1)(2.4) are then written in this perturbed shock frame, and the primes are subsequently dropped. We assume perturbations of the form q(n, t) = q0 (n) + q1 (n)et , where q is one of , p, un or and we expand W as W = W0 (n) + W0 1 (n)et + W0p p1 (n)et + W0 1 (n)et + , where W0 = W0 /0 , etc. Using these and substituting the expressions for the perturbed quantities into the governing equations, after linearizing in , the equations can be written in the form 0 where u = (1 , un1 , p1 , 1 )T , 0 un0 0 A = 0 0 0 un0 0 c2 0 0 1 un0 1 0 un0 0 0 0 0 un0 0 0 = u2 c2 , n0 0 du = Au + s, dn

0 0 un0 (un0 + Dn ) 0 un0 + 2 (un0 + Dn ) (un0 + Dn ) 0 un0 un0 2 c0 2 (u + Dn ) c0 (un0 + Dn ) 0 + 0 n0 0 2 2 0 c0 un0 0 c0 un0 un0 (un0 + Dn ) 0 0
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q( 1) 0 W0 dun0 dun0 (2W0 + 0 W0 ) + W0 (2u2 + 0 ) n0 3 un0 d0 un0 d0 q( 1) dun0 dun0 W0 (2W0 + 0 W0 ) (u2 + 0 ) 2W0 0 d0 0 un0 n0 d0 + 0 W0 dun0 2 u q( 1)(2W + W ) + dun0 u2 W (c + u2 ) n0 0 0 0 0 n0 d0 n0 un0 d0 0 W0 0 0 W0 2 un0 un0 0 qW0 ( 1) un0 dun0 W0 + qW0p ( 1) qW0 ( 1) d0 0 un0 , dun0 W0 un0 0 qW0p ( 1) un0 0 qW0 ( 1) d0 W0 0 W0p 0 un0 un0 W0 dun0 0 q( 1)W0p u2 d0 un0 n0 s = 2 (0 , un0 , 0 c2 , 0)T + (0 un0 , c2 , 0 c2 un0 , 0)T . 0 0 0 The 0 subscript represents the quasi-steady solution. Note that at the CJ point there CJ is a singularity, as 0 = 0. When the quasi-steady solutions were found, they were determined as a function of the reaction progress variable 0 and it is convenient to also choose this as the independent variable for the perturbed equations. The linear system then becomes 0 W0 du = Au + s. un0 d0 (4.1)

Finally, the boundary conditions of the perturbed equations at the shock are found to be 1 (0) = 2p 4Dn ( + 1)p , un1 (0) = +1 , 2 )2 2 (2p + ( 1)Dn + 1 Dn 4Dn , 1 (0) = 0. p1 (0) = +1

The boundary conditions at the generalized CJ point are that the solutions are bounded there.

5. Determining the eigenvalues


From the previous section, the linearized equations form a fourth-order ODE system. This system will have four independent solutions with four boundary conditions at the shock. However, due to the physical constraint that the solution must be bounded at the CJ point, the eigenvalues will be such that the solution is independent of an unbounded solution.
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S. D. Watt and G. J. Sharpe (a) Analysis about the CJ point

CJ At the CJ point, (4.1) is singular, as 0 = 0. Let us consider the behaviour near the CJ point. Rewrite (4.1) by introducing a new independent variable

w = 0 CJ 0 du = A u + s . (5.1) dw Note that w = 0 (at 0 = CJ ) is a regular singular point of equation (5.1). This 0 equation has four independent homogeneous solutions which to leading order in w are of the form wi vi , where i and vi are the eigenvalues and eigenvectors, respectively, of aCJ aCJ aCJ aCJ 1 2 3 4 u n0 aCJ un0 aCJ un0 aCJ un0 aCJ 1 0 2 0 3 0 4 , (A )CJ = 0 u2 aCJ u2 aCJ u2 aCJ u2 aCJ n0 1 n0 2 n0 3 n0 4 0 0 0 0 w where a1 = un0 (un0 + Dn ) + a2 = 0 un0 + 0 + a3 = a4 = dun0 2qW0 ( 1) 0 qW0 ( 1) W0 , d0 un0 un0 as

20 W0 dun0 , un0 d0

W0 dun0 0 qW0p ( 1) 2 (un0 + Dn ) , un0 un0 d0 un0 un0 q0 W0 . un0

The general solution is then


4

u=
i=1

ai wi vi + up

as w 0,

where the ai are (complex) constants and up is the particular integral. For this system, the eigenvalues are 0, 0, 0, h, where h = aCJ 1 un0 a2 0
CJ

+ (u2 a3 )CJ . n0

Note that for Re() > 0, h < 0, hence the solution corresponding to this eigenvalue will be unbounded at w = 0. Thus we need to nd the eigenvalues such that this solution is not present, or a4 = 0, while simultaneously satisfying the perturbed shock conditions.
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There are two possible methods of solving this problem. The rst is to use the three bounded asymptotic solutions about the CJ point as initial conditions for integrating towards the shock and then to attempt to satisfy the four shock conditions with a linear combination of these bounded solutions. This method is developed and described in Sharpe (1997, 1999). The second method, due to Lee & Stewart (1990), is to integrate from the shock towards the CJ point and apply a boundedness, or equivalently a radiation, condition. The required eigenvalue will give a solution which is bounded at the singularity. In the original method of Lee & Stewart (1990), a nite domain was used, with 0 as the independent variable, as is done here. The integration was stopped one grid point from the CJ point and the boundedness condition applied there. Note that later versions of this method involved using innite domains with the distance behind the shock, x, as the independent variable (Short & Stewart 1998; Sharpe 1999). In this paper, however, we follow closely the original method described in detail in Lee & Stewart (1990), but note that the boundedness condition to be employed is dierent for the curved detonation case. We introduce a measure of how unbounded the solution is, or how large a4 is, M = l4 (u() up ()), where l4 = (aCJ , aCJ , aCJ , aCJ ) 1 2 3 4 is the left eigenvector of (A )CJ corresponding to eigenvalue h. As is a complex number, we need to take the modulus of M to give an absolute measure. If M = 0 near the CJ point, then u is independent of the unbounded solution and is an eigenvalue. Note that Yao (1996) derived a similar condition. As a further verication and check of the method, as well as using the verications described in Lee & Stewart (1990), the results are compared with those of the planar case (Lee & Stewart 1990; Sharpe 1997), including the neutrally stable values of E. In the limit 0 the results agree. Note, however, that for = 0 the CJ point is then an irregular singular point of (5.1) since then W0 = 0 at w = 0 = 0 (see Sharpe 1997).

6. Results
In this section we show neutral stability boundaries and dispersion relations for various activation temperatures and curvatures. In practice, only the lowest frequency modes appear in the full nonlinear problem for detonations (Short & Wang 2001), and hence we will only consider the rst three modes. (a) Neutral stability In the full time-dependent problem, we are interested in whether the detonation is unstable to perturbations or not. Thus we are interested in when the eigenvalues change from having a negative real part to a positive real part, the neutral stability boundary.
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S. D. Watt and G. J. Sharpe

30

E 25

20

15 0

0.005

0.010

0.015

Figure 2. The neutral stability boundaries for the fundamental mode (solid line), rst overtone (dashed line) and second overtone (dot-dashed line). Also shown is the critical curvature for the quasi-steady solutions (dotted line).

To nd this boundary, rst we set E, Q and . The one parameter left to vary is the curvature, or equivalently the detonation speed. By scanning the complex plane, we can nd the approximate location of the eigenvalue where M = 0. By improving the resolution, we can converge onto the eigenvalue. In general, increasing the curvature, or decreasing the detonation speed, moves the eigenvalue to the right and vice versa. Repeating this process, a more accurate guess can be made for the curvature when the eigenvalue is strictly imaginary. This method is repeated for various values of the activation temperature, E, and for the rst three eigenvalues. In gure 2 we have plotted the neutral stability boundaries for each of the three eigenvalues, as well as the critical curvature for the quasi-steady waves, in an (E)-plane. The detonation is one-dimensionally unstable to each eigenmode above and to the right of the corresponding boundary curve and stable below and to the left of them. Note that as is increased with E xed, each mode becomes unstable in order of ascending frequency, so that the detonation is only stable to one-dimensional perturbations below the neutral stability curve of the fundamental mode. Note also that the neutral stability boundaries asymptote to the critical curvature locus. For xed E, the fundamental mode is always unstable suciently near the critical curvature. Hence when the curvature is near critical, the detonation will not propagate quasi-steadily but in an unstable pulsating manner. (b) Dispersion relations We track the unstable eigenvalues as a function of curvature for four dierent activation temperatures. The four we choose are E = 20, for which the planar detonation is one-dimensionally stable, and E = 25.26, E = 31.05 and E = 35.84, which are the activation temperature when the rst, second and third eigenmodes in the planar case ( = 0) change stability, respectively (Sharpe 1997). The dispersion relations (Re() and Im() versus diagrams) for these cases are shown in gures 3, 4, 5 and 6, respectively.
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0.020 (a) 0.015 Re ( )

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0.010

0.005

0 0.25 (b) 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0 0.010 0.011

Im ( )

0.012

0.013

Figure 3. (a) The real and (b) the imaginary parts of the fundamental mode (solid line) and rst overtone (dashed line) as a function of for E = 20.

(i) E = 20 Figure 2 shows that for this activation temperature, the detonation is onedimensionally unstable only when the curvature is above = 0.009 76. The fundamental mode becomes unstable at = 0.009 76, and gure 3 shows that as is increased further, the growth rate (Re()) of this mode increases rapidly, while the frequency (Im()) decreases. Hence increasing the curvature quickly destabilizes the detonation. The frequency of the fundamental mode becomes zero at = 0.012 58, and the eigenvalue subsequently bifurcates into two real parts. One branch increases extremely rapidly with curvature, while the other decreases, until the critical curvature for the quasi-steady wave is reached at = 0.0126. The second mode only becomes unstable suciently near the critical curvature, at = 0.012 33. However, the growth rate of this mode increases very rapidly with curvature once it becomes unstable. (ii) E = 25.26 From gure 2, we see that for this case the fundamental mode is neutrally stable for the planar case ( = 0) and unstable on the whole upper branch of the Dn curve for
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(a) 0.03 Re ( )

0.02

0.01

0 0.4 0.3 Im ( ) 0.2 0.1 0 0 (b)

0.002

0.004

0.006

0.008

0.010

Figure 4. (a) The real and (b) the imaginary parts of the fundamental mode (solid line), rst overtone (dashed line) and second overtone (dot-dashed line) as a function of for E = 25.26.

> 0 (the critical curvature for the quasi-steady waves is = 0.008 95). The second mode becomes unstable only for suciently large curvature > 0.007 08, while the third mode is only unstable near the critical curvature, > 0.008 87. Figure 4 shows that as increases from zero the growth rate of the fundamental mode increases. The frequency becomes zero at = 0.0084, and again this eigenvalue subsequently bifurcates into two real values. Once the second mode becomes unstable, its growth rate increases and its frequency decreases very rapidly with further increases of . The third mode is even more sensitive to curvature. Figure 4 also shows that near the critical curvature the growth rates of the two lowest frequency modes become comparable. (iii) E = 31.05 From gure 2, we see that in this case the rst and second eigenmodes are unstable on the whole of the upper branch of the Dn curve, with the second mode neutrally stable at = 0. The critical curvature for E = 31.05 is = 0.006 72. Figure 5 shows that as the curvature increases, the growth rate of the fundamental mode is almost constant while that of the second mode increases. Eventually the growth
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0.06 (a) 0.05 Re ( ) 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 0 0.8

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(b)

0.6 Im ( )

0.4

0.2

0 0 2 4 ( 103) 6

Figure 5. (a) The real and (b) the imaginary parts of the fundamental mode (solid line), rst overtone (dashed line) and second overtone (dot-dashed line) as a function of for E = 31.05.

rate of the second mode becomes greater than that of the fundamental mode and hence this is the linearly dominant (most unstable) mode for a range of curvature (0.003 42 < < 0.004 71). Again the rst eigenvalue bifurcates into two real values (at = 0.004 56). Note that the growth rates of the rst and second modes are very similar near the critical curvature. Note also that the growth rates of the rst and second modes decrease slightly as the critical curvature is approached. The third mode is only unstable for a small part of the upper Dn branch ( > 0.005 06), but it rapidly becomes more unstable as increases further. (iv) E = 35.84 From gure 2, we see that the rst three eigenmodes are unstable for all of the allowable curvature, with the third mode neutrally stable in the planar case. The critical curvature is = 0.005 53. As in the previous examples, the rst eigenvalue bifurcates, but this time when = 0. The second mode is the dominant one for small enough curvature, but the growth rates of the rst and second modes become very similar for the rest of the Dn upper branch with nearly constant growth rates until the curvature is near critical, where the growth rates decrease sharply. The growth
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0.10 0.08 0.06 Re ( ) 0.04 0.02 0 1.2

S. D. Watt and G. J. Sharpe


(a)

(b) 1.0 0.8 Im ( ) 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 2 4 6

( 103)
Figure 6. (a) The real and (b) the imaginary parts of the fundamental mode (solid line), rst overtone (dashed line) and second overtone (dot-dashed line) as a function of for E = 35.84.

rate of the third mode increases rapidly with curvature. One thing to note is that now the real parts of all three eigenvalues are very close at the critical curvature.

7. Conclusions
In this paper we have investigated the one-dimensional linear stability of weakly curved detonations. The results show that even weak curvature has a signicant destabilizing eect on detonation waves. Secondly, we nd that the fundamental mode is always unstable suciently near the critical curvature for quasi-steady waves, even if the planar wave is quite stable. Moreover, we have found that the fundamental linear mode usually bifurcates into two real values before the critical curvature is reached. Whenever the fundamental mode bifurcates, it appears that in the fully nonlinear case the detonation is always far into a regime of very large amplitude, highly irregular oscillations (or even beyond a one-dimensional detonability limit for more complex kinetic models) (Short & Quirk 1997; Sharpe & Falle 2000a, b). Hence the analysis suggests that the detonation actually becomes highly unstable as the critical curvature is approached.
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These results agree with one-dimensional numerical simulations of spherically and cylindrically expanding detonation fronts, directly initiated by a point-source blast wave (He & Clavin 1994; Sharpe 2000a; Ng & Lee 2002). In these simulations, once the detonation has formed, it initially pulsates even when the planar wave is stable, but the amplitude of the pulsations decreases as the shock radius increases, indicating that the detonation becomes more stable with decreasing curvature. Indeed, recent high-resolution numerical simulations of expanding detonations (Watt & Sharpe 2004) show that the leading-order neutral stability results determined from the linear analysis predict well those found in the fully nonlinear simulations. For condensed-phase rate-sticks, the critical curvature is often associated with the critical diameter, below which the rate-stick cannot be detonated (Bdzil 1981; Stewart 1998). Since we have found that the detonation is unstable near the critical curvature this suggests that as the critical diameter of the rate-stick is approached the transition between steady detonation propagation and no detonation will not be sharp but there will be a regime of unstable, unsteady propagation, where the front pulsates by repeated failure and re-ignition of the detonation, a possibility suggested by Stewart (2002). However, for rate-sticks, multi-dimensional eects may be important, even in the steady wave (Short & Bdzil 2003), and material inhomogeneities will also be important. Since the purpose of this paper is to determine the stabilizing/destabilizing eect of curvature of detonation waves, it was sucient to consider a one-dimensional perturbation analysis. Indeed, a general multi-dimensional linear stability analysis is not straightforward for a curved detonation due to the complexity of the multidimensional shock-attached equations (Yao & Stewart 1996). However, for specic cases, such as spherical or cylindrical waves, a multi-dimensional analysis may be more amenable. We intend to investigate this in the future.
This work was funded by the EPSRC and the DSTL (formerly DERA) under the Joint Grant Scheme. The authors are also grateful to a referee for pointing out to us the work done in the thesis by Yao (1996).

Appendix A.
Consider a quasi-steady detonation, such that the speed and structure of the wave evolve on the slow time-scale t = t with 1. Denote this quasi-steady solution by an s subscript, i.e. uns uns (n, t), Dns Dns (t), etc. Here we will just consider the momentum equation (2.1) for the sake of briefness. The quasi-steady solution is hence governed by dDns 1 ps uns uns + + uns + = 0. t dt n n (A 1)

Suppose that the exact quasi-steady solution is perturbed such that the position of the perturbed front is n = et , 1. It is necessary to transform to a frame moving with the perturbed front (Erpenbeck 1964): n = n et , t = t. The speed of the perturbed front is Dns (t) + et and + 2 et . Note that the one-dimensional momenhence its acceleration is dDns /dt tum equation written in the shock attached frame for a general accelerating shock front is of the form (2.1) (Yao & Stewart 1996), and hence in the frame moving with
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the perturbed shock the momentum equation is dDns u 1 p un + + 2 et + un n + = 0, t dt n n (A 2)

where un is the uid velocity with respect to the perturbed shock. The primes are subsequently dropped for convenience. The perturbed dependent variables then have the form q(n, t) = qs (n, t) + qp (n, t)et . Substituting into (A 2) gives uns uns dDns 1 ps + uns + + t dt n n 1 pp p pn unp uns unp + unp + 2 + unp + uns + 2 t n n s n s n + o() = 0.

+ et

Note that the term in square brackets is identically zero by (A 1) and hence the leading-order terms in (A 2) are actually O(). Note also that (A 1) and (A 2) are exact; we have made no asymptotic truncation as yet. Linearizing (A 2) in , the linear stability equation is hence 1 pp p ps unp uns unp + unp + 2 + unp + uns + 2 = 0. t n n s n s n (A 3)

However, since in , i.e. expand as

1, let us solve (A 1) and (A 3) in using an asymptotic expansion qp (n, t) = q1 (n) + O(), Dns = Dn0 + O(),

qs (n, t) = q0 (n) + O(),

where q0 and q1 depend only parametrically on t. To leading order the quasi-steady solution is hence governed by un0 1 dp0 dun0 + = 0, dn 0 dn

while the leading-order linear stability equation is un1 + 2 + un1 1 dp1 1 dp0 dun0 dun1 + un0 + 2 = 0. dn dn 0 dn 0 dn

The main points from the above are that the quasi-steady and linear stability solutions in this paper are the leading-order solutions in an expansion in the slow timescale, and that the small O() time-dependent terms ignored in determining the quasi-steady solutions and the associated Dn relations will give only a correspondingly small correction to the linear stability results presented here.

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