Vortex ring research primarily focuses on the formation from circular openings. Consequently, the role of tunnel geometry is less understood, despite there being numerous research studies using noncircular shock tunnels. This experimental study investigated shockwaves and vortex rings from different geometry shock tunnels from formation at the tunnel opening to head on collision with another similarly formed vortex ring using schlieren imaging and statistical analysis. The velocity of the incident shockwave was found to be consistent across all four shock tunnel geometries, which include circle, hexagon, square, and triangle of the same cross-sectional area. The velocity was 1.2 ± 0.007 Mach and was independent of the tunnel geometry. However, the velocities of the resulting vortex rings differed between the shapes, with statistical analysis indicating significant differences between the triangle and hexagon vortex velocities compared to the circle. Vortex rings from the square and circle shock tunnels were found to have statistically similar velocities. All vortex rings slowed as they traveled due to corner inversion and air drag. All shock tunnels with corners produce a wobble in the vortex rings. Vortex rings interact with opposing incident shockwaves prior to colliding with each other. Vortex velocity before and after shock-vortex interaction was measured and evaluated, showing statistically similar results. Shock-vortex interaction slows the shockwave upon interaction, while the shock-shock interaction resulted in no change in shock velocity. Although the vortex rings travel at different velocities, all head-on vortex ring collisions produce a perpendicular shockwave that travels at 1.04 ± 0.005 Mach.


Mining Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1089-7666; 1070-6631

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 American Institute of Physics, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2023