Numerical investigation of the accuracy of particle image velocimetry technique in gas-phase detonations

Sai Sandeep Dammati*, Yoram Kozak, Cal Rising, Jonathan Reyes, Kareem Ahmed, Alexei Y. Poludnenko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We numerically investigate the accuracy of the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique for the flow characterization in high-speed, compressible regimes, in particular in gas-phase detonations. We carry out synthetic PIV reconstruction of the flow field in a two-dimensional, planar detonation propagating under atmospheric conditions and modelled using single-step Arrhenius kinetics. The flow is uniformly seeded with monodispersed Al2O3 particles with sizes 50 and 200 nm, along with initially co-located massless Lagrangian tracer particles. The effect of massive particles on the detonation speed and thermodynamic state of the flow is investigated and is found to be negligible. We further assess the ability of massive particles to sample the flow field and while it is found that 50 nm particles sample the flow field better than the 200 nm ones, they also exhibit significant clustering. By comparing the trajectories of massive particles with those of massless tracers, it is shown that almost all massive particles rapidly diverge from the actual flow pathlines. Finally, we quantify the accuracy of the PIV reconstruction of the velocity field in comparison with the actual velocity field in the numerical simulations. It is shown that while PIV is generally capable of capturing the bulk flow features in the streamwise direction, its accuracy is not sufficient to characterize the transverse velocity component or velocity fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3671-3681
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number3
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event38th International Symposium on Combustion, 2021 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 24 Jan 202129 Jan 2021


  • Accuracy
  • Compressibility
  • Detonations
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Turbulence


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