Formation of shock waves in gas-liquid foams

T. Elperin, O. Igra, I. Shreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present investigation is to analyze the phenomenon of shock wave formation in gas-liquid foams and to explain the qualitative differences which are found when comparing results from shock tube experiments performed with foams and bubbly liquids. It is well known that oscillatory pressure waves in bubbly liquids may reach an amplitude twice as large as that of the original pressure impulse. However, experiments showed that pressure disturbances in foams always attenuate without significant change in the wave pressure profile. In the present study this behavior is explained by analyzing shock wave formation using the Burgers equation which is derived from the conservation laws for a bubbly liquid. It is shown that the parameter of non linearity in the Burgers equation describing wave propagation in bubbly liquids is about 40 times higher than in foams. At the same time coefficient of bulk viscosity of a foam is about 103 times greater than that of a bubbly liquid. This explains why in shock tube experiments with foams shock waves are not detected while they are easily observed when bubbly liquids are used under similar conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalShock Waves
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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