2011

More-Accurate Model of Flows in Rocket Injectors

An improved computational model for simulating flows in liquid-propellant injectors in rocket engines has been developed. Models like this one are needed for predicting fluxes of heat in, and performances of, the engines. An important part of predicting performance is predicting fluctuations of temperature, fluctuations of concentrations of chemical species, and effects of turbulence on diffusion of heat and chemical species. Customarily, diffusion effects are represented by parameters known in the art as the Prandtl and Schmidt numbers. Prior formulations include ad hoc assumptions of constant values of these parameters, but these assumptions and, hence, the formulations, are inaccurate for complex flows.

In the improved model, these parameters are neither constant nor specified in advance: instead, they are variables obtained as part of the solution. Consequently, this model represents the effects of turbulence on diffusion of heat and chemical species more accurately than prior formulations do, and may enable more-accurate prediction of mixing and flows of heat in rocket-engine combustion chambers. The model has been implemented within CRUNCH CFD, a proprietary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer program, and has been tested within that program. The model could also be implemented within other CFD programs.

This work was done by Ashvin Hosangadi, James Chenoweth, Kevin Brinckman, and Sanford Dash of Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc. for Marshall Space Flight Center. Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to Sammy Nabors, MSFC Commercialization Assistance Lead, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Refer to MFS-32533-1.

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