The problem of uniform shocks interacting with free-standing plates is studied analytically and numerically for arbitrary shock intensity and plate mass. The analysis is of interest in the design and interpretation of fluid–structure interaction (FSI) experiments in shock tubes. In contrast to previous work corresponding to the case of incident blast profiles of exponential distribution, all asymptotic limits obtained here are exact. The contributions include the extension of Taylor’s FSI analysis for acoustic waves, the exact analysis of the asymptotic limits of very heavy and very light plates for arbitrary shock intensity, and a general formula for the transmitted impulse in the intermediate plate mass range. One of the implications is that the impulse transmitted to the plate can be expressed univocally in terms of a single nondimensional compressible FSI parameter.

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