A theoretical method for solving shock relations coupled with chemical equilibrium and its applications

Zijian ZHANG, Chihyung WEN, Wenshuo ZHANG, Yunfeng LIU, Zonglin JIANG

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a theoretical method is proposed to solve shock relations coupled with chemical equilibrium. Not only shock waves in dissociated flows but also detonation waves in combustive mixtures can be solved. The global iterative solving process is specially designed to mimic the physical and chemical process in reactive shock waves to ensure good stability and fast convergence in the proposed method. Within each global step, the single-variable equations of normal and oblique shock relations are derived and solved with the Newton iteration method to reduce the complexity of the problems, and the minimization of free energy method of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is adopted to solve equilibrium compositions. It is demonstrated that the convergent process is stable and very close to the real chemical-kinetic process, and high accuracy is achieved in the solutions of normal and oblique reactive shock waves. Moreover, the proposed theoretical method has also been applied to many problems associated with reactive shocks, including the stability of oblique detonation wave, bow detonation over a sphere, and shock reflection in dissociated air. The great importance of using chemical equilibrium to theoretically predict the theoretical range of the wedge angle for a standing oblique detonation wave (the standing window of the oblique detonation wave), the stand-off distance of bow detonation wave and the transition criterion of shock reflection in dissociated air with high accuracy have been addressed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChinese Journal of Aeronautics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Oct 2021


  • Chemical equilibrium
  • Detonation
  • Dissociated air
  • Shock relation
  • Theoretical solution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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