The impact of a stainless steel disk-shaped projectile launched by a single-stage light gas gun is used to generate planar shock waves with amplitudes on the order of 10 to the power of 2 MPa in a hydrogel target material. These shock waves are characterized using ultra-high-speed imaging as well as a fiber-optic probe hydrophone. Although the hydrogel equation of state (EOS) is unknown, the combination of these measurements with conservation of mass and momentum allows us to calculate pressure. It is also shown that although the hydrogel behaves similarly to water, the use of a water EOS underpredicts pressure amplitudes in the hydrogel by ∼10% at the shock front. Further, the water EOS predicts pressures approximately 2% higher than those determined by conservation laws for a given value of the shock velocity. Shot to shot repeatability is controlled to within 10%, with the shock speed and pressure increasing as a function of the velocity of the projectile at impact. Thus the projectile velocity may be used as an adequate predictor of shock conditions in future work with a restricted suite of diagnostics.


P. A. Anderson, M. R. Betney, H. W. Doyle, B. Tully, Y. Ventikos, N. A. Hawker and R. A. Roy


Physics of Fluids