A novel, diaphragmless shock tube (DFST) has been developed for use in high temperature chemical kinetic studies. The design of the apparatus is presented along with performance data that demonstrate the range and reproducibility of reaction conditions that can be generated. The ability to obtain data in the fall off region, confined to much narrower pressure ranges than can be obtained with a conventional shock tube is shown, and results from laser schlieren densitometry experiments on the unimolecular dissociation of phenyl iodide (P2 =57±9 and 122±7 torr, T2 =1250-1804 K) are presented. These are compared with results similar to those that would be obtained from a classical shock tube and the implications for extrapolation by theoretical methods are discussed. Finally, the use of the DFST with an online mass spectrometer to create reproducible experiments that can be signal averaged to improve signal/noise and the quality of mass peaks is demonstrated; something that is not possible with a conventional shock tube where each experiment has to be considered unique.
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