Numerical and Experimental Study on the Dynamic Interaction Between Highly Nonlinear Solitary Waves and Pressurized Balls

Nasrollahi A., Rizzo P., Orak M. S.

JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, vol.85, no.3, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 85 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1115/1.4038990


This paper discusses the dynamic interaction between a monoatomic chain of solid particles and a thin-walled spherical pressure vessel. The objective is to find a relationship between the highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs) propagating within the chain and the internal pressure of the vessel. The paper introduces first a general finite element model to predict the abovementioned interaction, and then a specific application to tennis balls. The scope is to demonstrate a new nondestructive testing (NDT) method to infer the internal pressure of the balls. The overarching idea is that a mechanically induced solitary pulse propagating within the chain interacts with the thin-walled ball to be probed. At the chain-ball interface, the acoustic pulse is partially reflected back to the chain and partially deforms the rubber giving rise to secondary pulses. The research hypothesis is that one or more features of the reflected waves are monotonically dependent on the internal pressure. Both numerical and experimental results demonstrate a monotonic relationship between the time of flight (TOF) of the solitary waves and the internal pressure of the tennis balls. In addition, the pressure inferred nondestructively with the HNSWs matches very well the pressure measured destructively with an ad hoc pressure gauge needle. In the future, the results presented in this study could be used to develop a portable device to infer anytime anywhere the internal pressure of deformable systems (including biological systems) for which conventional pressure gages cannot be used noninvasively.