A Study of the Characteristics of Gas-On-Liquid Impinging Injectors
The work presented here pertains to investigations on gas-on-liquid type of impinging injectors with a generic approach with prospective applications in several areas, and at places with particular emphasis on cryogenic or semi-cryogenic liquid propellant rockets. In such rockets, one of the components arrives at the injector in a gaseous phase after passing through the regenerative coolant passages or a preceding combustion stage. Most often, the injectors in such systems are of shear coaxial type. The shear coaxial injectors suffer from several disadvantages like complexity in design, manufacture and quality control. Adoption of impinging jet configuration can alleviate these problems in addition to providing further benefits in terms of cost, robustness in high temperature environment and manifolding. However, there is very little literature on gas-on-liquid injectors either in this context or in any other Even for the simplest form of impinging injectors such as like-on-like doublets, literature provides no conclusive direction at describing a spray from the theoretical models of physical mechanisms. Empirical approach is still the prime mode of obtaining a proper understanding of the phenomena. Steady state spray characterization includes mainly of describing the spatial distribution of liquid mass and drop size distribution as a function of geometric and injection parameters. The parameters that are likely to have an impact on spray characteristics are orifice diameter, ratio of orifice length to diameter, pre-impingement length of individual jets, inter orifice distance, impingement angle, jet velocity and condition of the jet just before impingement. The gas-on- liquid configuration is likely to experience some qualitative changes because of the expansion of the gas jet. The degree to which each one of the above variables influences the drop size and mass distribution having implication to combustion performance forms the core theme of the thesis. A dedicated experimental facility has been built, calibrated and deployed exhaustively. While spray drop size measurement is done largely by a laser diffraction instrument, some of the cases warranted an image processing technique. Two different image processing algorithms are developed in-house for this purpose. The granulometric image processing method developed earlier in the group for cryogenic sprays is modified and its applicability to gas-on-liquid impinging sprays are verified. Another technique based on the Hough transform which is feature extraction technique for extracting quantitative information has also been developed and used for gas-on-liquid impinging injectors. A comparative study of conventional liquid-on-liquid doublet with gas-on-liquid impinging injectors are first made to establish the importance of studying gas-on-liquid impinging injectors. The study identifies the similarities and differences between the two types and highlights the features that make such injectors attractive as replacements to coaxial configuration. Spray structure, drop-size mass distributions are quantified for the purpose of comparison. This is followed by a parametric study of the gas-on-liquid impinging injectors carried out using identified control variables. Though momentum ratio appeared to be a suitable parameter to describe the spray at any given impingement angle, the variations due to impingement angle had to be factored in. It was found that normal gas momentum to liquid mass is an apt parameter to generalize the spray characteristics. It was also found that using identical nozzles for desired mass ratio could lead to rather large deflection of the spray which may not be acceptable in combustion chamber design. One way of overcoming this is to work with unequal orifice sizes for gas and liquid. It was found that using smaller gas orifice for a given liquid orifice resulted in lower SMD (Sauter Mean Diameter of the spray) for constant gas and liquid mass flow rates. This is attributable to the high dynamic pressure of gas in the case of smaller gas orifices for the same mass flow rate. The impinging liquid jets with unequal momentum in the doublet configuration would result in non-uniform mass and mixture ratio distribution within the combustion chamber which may have to operate under varying conditions of mass flow rates and/or mixture ratio. The symmetrical arrangement of triplet configuration can eliminate this problem at the same time generating finely atomized spray and a homogeneous mixture ratio. In view of the scanty literature available in this field, the atomization characteristics of the spray generated by liquid centered triplet jets are examined in detail. It was found that as in the case of gas-on-liquid impinging doublets, normal gas momentum to liquid mass is an ideal parameter in describing the spray. Variants of this configuration are studied recently for many other applications too. As done in the case of doublets, efforts have also been made to compare gas centered triplet to liquid-liquid triplet. It was found that the trend of SMD of gas centered triplet is different from that of liquid-liquid triplets, thus pointing to a different mechanism in play. The SMD in the case of liquid-liquid triplets decreases monotonically with increasing specific normal momentum. It is to be noted that specific normal momentum is an ideal parameter for describing the spray characteristics of liquid-liquid triplets and doublets. In the case of gas centered triplet the SMD first increases and then decreases with specific normal momentum, the inversion point depends on the gas mass flow rate for a constant specific normal momentum. The thesis concludes with a summary of the major observations of spray structures for all the above injector configurations and quantifies the parametric dependencies that would be of use to engineering design
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