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Unsteady Flow Evolution and Combustion Dynamics of Homogeneous Solid Propellant in a Rocket Motor

Summary: Unsteady Flow Evolution and Combustion Dynamics of
Homogeneous Solid Propellant in a Rocket Motor
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802, USA
A time-resolved numerical analysis of combustion dynamics of double-base homogenous solid propellant in a
rocket motor is performed by means of a Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) technique. The physiochemical
processes occurring in the flame zone and their influence on the unsteady flow evolution in the chamber are
investigated in depth. A five-step reduced reaction mechanism is used to obtain the two-stage flame structure
consisting of a primary flame, a dark zone, and a secondary flame in the gas phase. It is observed that, for
homogeneous solid propellant combustion, the chemical time scale is much greater than the smallest turbulence
time scale, rendering a highly stretched and thickened flame. The chemical reactions proceed at a slower rate
than turbulent mixing, and propellant combustion may be locally treated as a well-stirred reactor. The flowfield
in the chamber consists of three regions of evolution: the upstream laminar regime, the central transitional
section, and the fully developed turbulent regime further downstream. A theoretical formulation exploring the
chamber flow and flame dynamics is established to study the intriguing phenomenon of combustion instability.
The work done by Reynolds stresses, vorticity-flame interactions, and coupling between the velocity field and
entropy fluctuations may cause resonance effects and excite pressure oscillations leading to self-sustained
unsteady motions within the chamber. 2002 by The Combustion Institute


Source: Apte, Sourabh V. - School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University
Yang, Vigor - School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology


Collections: Engineering