Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 February 2019
The asymmetrical Mach reflection configuration is studied analytically in this paper, using an asymmetrical model extended from a recent symmetrical model and accounting for the new features related to asymmetry of the two wedges. It is found that the two sliplines do not turn parallel to the incoming flow at the same horizontal location and the sonic throat locates at the position where the difference of slopes of the two sliplines vanishes. This allows us to define a new sonic throat compatibility condition essential to determine the size of the Mach stem. The present model gives the height of the Mach stem, declined angle of the Mach stem from vertical axis, sonic throat location and shape of all shock waves and sliplines. The accuracy of the model is checked by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. It is found that the Mach stem height is strongly dependent on asymmetry of the wedge angles and almost linearly dependent on the asymmetry of the wedge lower surface lengths. The Mach stem height is shown to be insensitive to the asymmetry of the horizontal positions of the two wedges. The mechanisms for these observations are explained. For instance, it is demonstrated that the Mach reflection configuration remains closely similar when there is horizontal shift of either wedge.