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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Modeling of classical swirl injector dynamics
by Ismailov, Maksud M., Ph.D., Purdue University, 2010, 306; 3427316
Abstract (Summary)

The knowledge of the dynamics of a swirl injector is crucial in designing a stable liquid rocket engine. Since the swirl injector is a complex fluid flow device in itself, not much work has been conducted to describe its dynamics either analytically or by using computational fluid dynamics techniques. Even the experimental observation is limited up to date.

Thus far, there exists an analytical linear theory by Bazarov [1], which is based on long-wave disturbances traveling on the free surface of the injector core. This theory does not account for variation of the nozzle reflection coefficient as a function of disturbance frequency, and yields a response function which is strongly dependent on the so called artificial viscosity factor. This causes an uncertainty in designing an injector for the given operational combustion instability frequencies in the rocket engine. In this work, the author has studied alternative techniques to describe the swirl injector response, both analytically and computationally.

In the analytical part, by using the linear small perturbation analysis, the entire phenomenon of unsteady flow in swirl injectors is dissected into fundamental components, which are the phenomena of disturbance wave refraction and reflection, and vortex chamber resonance. This reveals the nature of flow instability and the driving factors leading to maximum injector response. In the computational part, by employing the nonlinear boundary element method (BEM), the author sets the boundary conditions such that they closely simulate those in the analytical part. The simulation results then show distinct peak responses at frequencies that are coincident with those resonant frequencies predicted in the analytical part. Moreover, a cold flow test of the injector related to this study also shows a clear growth of instability with its maximum amplitude at the first fundamental frequency predicted both by analytical methods and BEM. It shall be noted however that Bazarov's theory does not predict the resonant peaks.

Overall this methodology provides clearer understanding of the injector dynamics compared to Bazarov's. Even though the exact value of response is not possible to obtain at this stage of theoretical, computational, and experimental investigation, this methodology sets the starting point from where the theoretical description of reflection/refraction, resonance, and their interaction between each other may be refined to higher order to obtain its more precise value.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heister, Stephen D.
Commitee: Blaisdell, Gregory A., Merkle, Charles L., Sojka, Paul E.
School: Purdue University
Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Aerospace engineering
Keywords: Fluid flow device, Liquid rocket engine, Propulsion, Swirl injectors, Unsteady flow
Publication Number: 3427316
ISBN: 978-1-124-31391-7
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