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Published April 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Flexural Waves in Fluid-Filled Tubes Subject to Axial Impact


We experimentally studied the propagation of coupled fluid stress waves and tube flexural waves generated through projectile impact along the axis of a water-filled tube. We tested mild steel tubes, 38–40 mm inner diameter and wall thicknesses of 0.8 mm, 6.4 mm, and 12.7 mm. A steel impactor was accelerated using an air cannon and struck a polycarbonate buffer placed on top of the water surface within the tube. Elastic flexural waves were observed for impact speeds of 5–10 m/s and plastic waves appeared for impact speeds approaching 20 m/s for a 0.8 mm thickness tube. We observed primary wave speeds of 1100 m/s in a 0.8 mm thickness tube, increasing to the water sound speed with 6.4 mm and 12.7 mm thickness tubes. Comparison of our measurements in the 0.8 mm thickness tube with Skalak's water hammer theory indicates reasonable agreement between the predicted and measured peak strains as a function of the impact buffer speed (1956, "An Extension to the Theory of Water Hammer," Trans. ASME, 78, pp. 105–116). For thick-walled tubes, the correlation between the experimentally determined peak pressures and strains reveals the importance of corrections for the through-wall stress distribution.

Additional Information

© 2010 ASME. Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology. Manuscript received September 29, 2008; final manuscript received June 22, 2009; published online January 29, 2010. Assoc. Editor: Edward A. Rodriguez. This research was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, DOD MURI on Mechanics and Mechanisms of Impulse Loading, Damage and Failure of Marine Structures and Materials ONR Grant No. N00014-06–1-0730, program manager Dr. Y.D.S. Rajapakse. We thank Chris Krok for his work on the first generation of experiments and Tim Curran for his work on data processing and image analysis.

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