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Magnetically imploded cylindrical metal shells (z-pinch liners) are attractive drivers for experiments exploring hydrodynamics and properties of materials at extreme conditions. As in all z-pinches, the outer surface of a liner is unstable to magneto Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) modes during acceleration, and large-scale distortion arising from RT modes could make such liners unuseable. On the other hand, material strength in the liner should, from first principles, reduce the growth rate of RT modes, and material strength can render some combinations of wavelength and amplitude analytically stable. A series of experiments has been conducted in which high-conductivity, soft, cylindrical aluminum liners were accelerated with 6-MA, 7-μs rise-time driving currents. Small perturbations were machined into the outer surface of the liner and perturbation growth monitored. Two-dimensional magneto-hydrodynamic (2-D-MHD) calculations of the growth of the initial perturbations were in good agreement with experimentally observed perturbation growth through the entire course of the implosions. In general, for high-conductivity and soft materials, theory and simulation adequately predicted the behavior of magneto-RT modes in liners where elastic-plastic behavior applies. This is the first direct verification of the growth of magneto-RT in solids with strength known to the authors.
Date of Publication: Oct 2002