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Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Volume 28, 2000/pp. 903910
TURBULENT FLAME DYNAMICS OF HOMOGENEOUS SOLID PROPELLANT
IN A ROCKET MOTOR
SOURABH APTE and VIGOR YANG
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802, USA
A comprehensive numerical analysis has been conducted to study the combustion of a doublebase
homogeneous propellant in a rocket motor. Emphasis was placed on the motor internal flow development
and its influence on propellant combustion. The formulation is based on the Favreaveraged, filtered
equations for the conservation laws and takes into account finiterate chemical kinetics and variable ther
mophysical properties. Turbulence closure is obtained using the largeeddysimulation technique. The
contribution of large energycarrying structures to mass, momentum, and energy transfer is computed
explicitly, and the effect of small scales of turbulence is modeled. The governing equations and associated
boundary conditions are solved using a timeaccurate, semiimplicit RungeKutta scheme coupled with a
fourthorder central difference algorithm for spatial discretization. The motor internal flowfield is basically
determined by the balance between the inertia force and the pressure gradient arising from the mass
injection at the propellant surface. The temporal evolution of the vorticity field shows a laminar upstream
region, a transition zone in the midsection of the chamber, and a fully developed turbulent regime further
downstream. The turbulent mixing proceeds at a rate faster than chemical reactions, and the flame stretch
