Mixing Enhancement Studies on Supersonic Elliptic Sharp Tipped Shallow (ESTS) Lobed Nozzles
Varghese, Albin B M
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Rapid mixing and spreading of supersonic jets are two important characteristics in supersonic ejectors, noise reduction in jets and fuel mixing in supersonic combustion. It helps in changing the acoustic and thermal signature in supersonic exhaust. The supersonic nozzles in most cases result in compressible mixing layers. The subsonic nozzles form incompressible mixing layers but at high Mach numbers even they form compressible mixing layers. Compressible mixing layers have been found to have much lower mixing and spreading rates than incompressible mixing layer Birch & Eggers (1972). In order to enhance the spreading and mixing of mixing layers from supersonic nozzles various active and passive methods have been deviced. Active methods include ﬂuid injection, ﬂuid lobes and plasma actuation. Passive methods are mostly based on modifying the nozzle geometry such that the ﬂuid expansion is ideal or the shock cell is broken. Many nozzles with exotic shapes have been developed to obtain mixing enhancements in supersonic jets Gutmark et al. (1995). To achieve enhanced mixing an innovative nozzle named as the Elliptic Sharp Tipped Shallow (ESTS) lobed nozzle has been developed in L.H.S.R., I.I.Sc., India Rao & Jagadeesh (2014). This nozzle has a unique geometry involving elliptical lobes and sharp tips. These lobes are generated using a simple manufacturing process from the throat to the exit. This lobed and sharp tipped structure introduces stream wise vortices and azimuthal velocity components which must help in enhanced mixing and spreading. The ESTS lobed nozzle has shown mixing enhancement with 4 lobes. The spreading rate was found to be double of the reference conical nozzle. This thesis is motivated by the need to investigate the ﬂow physics involved in the ESTS lobed nozzle. The eﬀect of varying the number of lobes and the design Mach number of the nozzle on the mixing and spreading characteristics will be further discussed. Visualisation studies have been performed. The schlieren and planar LASER Mie scattering techniques have been used to probe the ﬂow. Instantaneous images were taken at axial planes with the reference conical and ESTS nozzles with three, four, ﬁve and six lobes. The nozzles are for design Mach number 2.0 and 2.5. The stagnation chamber pressure was maintained to obtain over expanded, ideally expanded and under expanded ﬂows. LASER scattering was obtained by seeding the ﬂow with water to observe the behaviour of the primary ﬂow. The condensation of moisture due to the cold primary ﬂow mixing with the ambient air was exploited to scatter laser and observe the ﬂow structures in the mixing layer. A comparison of the images of the reference conical nozzle and the ESTS lobed nozzles shows changes in the mixing layers due to the ESTS lobed nozzles. The image of the reference conical nozzle shows a distinct potential core and mixing layers all along the length of the image. For the ESTS lobed nozzles this distinction becomes unclear shortly after the nozzle exit. Thus mixing of the primary ﬂow and ambient air is seen to be enhanced in the case of all the ESTS lobed nozzles. The ﬂow in the case of the ESTS lobed nozzles if found to be highly non axis symmetric. The starting process of the nozzles has been visualised using time resolved schlieren. Image processing was performed on the nozzles to quantify the spread rate. The shock structure of the nozzles has been studied and found to be modified due to the lobed geometry. The level of convolution of the mixing layer due to the lobed structure has been studied using fractal analysis. The four lobed nozzle was found to have the highest spread rate and th most convoluted shear layer. Hence this nozzle was further studied using background oriented schlieren and particle image velocimetry to quantify the ﬂow ﬁeld. These experimental results have been compared with CFD simulations using the commercial software CFX5. The computations and experiments don’t match accurately but the trends match. This allows for simulations to be used as a good ﬁrst approximation. The acoustic properties of a jet are dependent on the ﬂow structure behaviour. The ESTS lobes have been found to change the ﬂow structure. Hence the ESTS lobed nozzle was predicted to change the acoustic signature of the ﬂow. The acoustic measurements of the ﬂow were carried out at National Aerospace Laboratories, Bengaluru. The screech of the overexpanded ﬂow was seen to be eliminated and the overall sound levels were found to have been reduced in all cases. Thus the lobed nozzle was found to have acoustic benefits over the reference conical nozzle. Thus the ESTS lobed nozzle has been studied and compared with the conical nozzle using several methods. The changes due to the lobed structure have been studied quantitatively. Future studies would focus on the change in thrust due to the lobed structure. Also new geometries have been proposed inspired by the current design but with possible thrust benefits or manufacturing benefits.
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