A numerical study of cryogenic fluid injection and mixing under supercritical conditions

Nan Zong, Hua Meng, Shih Yang Hsieh, Vigor Yang

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176 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of a cryogenic fluid jet initially at a subcritical temperature and injected into a supercritical environment, in which both the pressure and temperature exceed the thermodynamic critical state, has been investigated numerically. The model accommodates full conservation laws and real-fluid thermodynamics and transport phenomena. All of the thermophysical properties are determined directly from fundamental thermodynamics theories, along with the use of the corresponding state principles. Turbulence closure is achieved using a large-eddy-simulation technique. As a specific example, the dynamics of a nitrogen fluid jet is studied systematically over a broad range of ambient pressure. Owing to the differences of fluid states and flow conditions between the jet and surroundings, a string of strong density-gradient regimes is generated around the jet surface and exerts a stabilizing effect on the flow development. The surface layer acts like a solid wall that transfers the turbulent kinetic energy from its axial to radial component. The spatial growth rate of the surface instability wave increases with increasing pressure. The frequency of the most unstable mode exhibits a weak pressure dependence at high pressures. It, however, decreases significantly in the near-critical regime due to the enhanced effect of density stratification and increased mixing-layer momentum thickness. The result agrees well with the linear stability analysis. The jet dynamics is largely dictated by the local thermodynamic state through its influence on the fluid thermophysical properties. When the fluid temperature transits across the inflection point on an isobaric density-temperature curve, the resultant rapid property variations may qualitatively modify the jet behavior compared with its counterpart at low pressures. An increase in the ambient pressure results in an earlier transition of the jet into the self-similar regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4248-4261
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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