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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Design of a Miniature, Portable Slab Burner: Exploring Novel Combustion and Flow Diagnostics
by Rodriguez, Christian Rafael, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 198; 28153626
Abstract (Summary)

Slab burners can be used to conduct experiments involving solid ramjet fuels without the need for a complete propulsion system. Slab burners are devices in which heated air flow is supplied to a combustion chamber containing a small sample of solid ramjet fuel in order to simulate the real-world flight conditions to which a ramjet in flight is subjected. This project focused on the design of a small-scale, modular slab burner capable of reproducing the combustion chamber conditions for a ramjet undergoing flight from sea level to an altitude of 15,240 m and for a Mach number ranging from 1 through 5. The final design presented in this project maximized transportability, modularity, and optical access, making it suitable for a broad variety of imaging techniques including synchrotron X-ray imaging. An evaluation of the slab burner performance revealed that the design was capable of achieving the desired temperatures from 373 K to 1198 K but could not deliver air at the corresponding mass flow rates which ranged from 0.05 kg/s to 0.62 kg/s. A requirement of the slab burner was to deliver fully developed flow into the combustion chamber and was met through the addition of a settling chamber containing a flow-straightening device, referred to as a honeycomb, placed upstream of the combustion chamber. Two honeycombs were created with careful consideration to avoid choking the flow and to minimize the pressure loss per honeycomb cell. The greater pressure loss of the two designs was determined to be 2.9 kPa per cell. An analysis of the heat transfer occurring in the honeycombs revealed that the longest time needed for either of the honeycombs to reach a steady-state temperature would be 48 seconds after initiating the delivery of heated air. A non-intrusive diagnostic method referred to as particle image velocimetry is introduced to measure the velocity profile of Hagen-Poiseuille flow of water in a narrow channel as a substitute for the evaluation of the performance of the two honeycomb designs. The results of the PIV analysis revealed that the volumetric flow rate of the water flow could be determined with a minimum error of 12.059 % from the actual volumetric flow rate of 19.9 mL/s.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kalman, Joseph
Commitee: Chae, Eun Jung, Dhillon, Navdeep
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/9(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Aerospace engineering
Keywords: Slab burner, Novel combustion, Flow diagnostics, Jet fuel, Propulsion systems
Publication Number: 28153626
ISBN: 9798597067667
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