NANOSHOCK* – Manufacturing Shock Interactions for Innovative Nanoscale Processes

High-resolution simulation of an implosion problem: visualization of the pressure field and instantaneous grid representation showing the local refinement regions.
* This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 667483).


Motivation and Objectives

We want to investigate the potential of shockwaves for in-situ control of fluid processes with surgical precision. Shockwaves are discontinuities in the macroscopic fluid state that can lead to extreme temperatures, pressures and concentrations of energy. Applications of such shock interactions range from kidney-stone lithotripsy and drug delivery, to advanced aircraft design. With the use of properly focused shockwaves on tissue material, e.g. lesions with unprecedented surgical precision can be generated. Alternatively, improving combustion by enhanced mixing of fuels, shockwave interactions can help to further destabilize and atomize spray droplets.

Our overall objective is to understand and predict the formation and control of shocks in complex environments, such as living organisms, using computational methods.

Approach to Solution

We develop best-in-class numerical methods with unprecedented accuracy and stability. The highly complex dynamics of shock-driven multiphase flows require very efficient numerical algorithms to handle the required mesh resolution. We have developed the simulation framework ALPACA that uses multiresolution techniques to compress the numerical grid without loss of accuracy. We use MPI-parallelization to perform efficient simulations on modern HPC architectures using large resolutions to capture all details at phase interfaces and flow discontinuities. With the new level-of-detail available in numerical simulations, we can better understand the underlying physics of complex multi-scale interactions. As a new feature, we now also support 3D visualization at the 5-sided projection installation at LRZ. ALPACA is open-source and available to the public on request, see or more information.

Shock-bubble interaction of an air-helium interface: 3D visualization of the late stage interface deformation at LRZ.

Key results

  • Phenomenology of bubble-collapse-driven penetration of biomaterial-surrogate liquid-liquid interfaces, S. Pan, S. Adami, X. Hu, N.A. Adams, Physical Review Fluids, Vol. 3, Issue 2, 2018, Article Number 114005
  • Droplet breakup as multi-scale computing challenge, S. Adami, N.A. Adams, invited talk at IUTAM Symposium on Dynamics and Stability of Fluid Interfaces, 2018
  • Open-source version of ALPACA available to interested users