Supercritical fluid flow dynamics and mixing in gas-centered liquid-swirl coaxial injectors

Liwei Zhang, Xingjian Wang, Yixing Li, Shiang Ting Yeh, Vigor Yang

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Gas-centered, liquid-swirl coaxial injectors similar to those used in the main chambers of oxidizer-rich staged-combustion engines are investigated computationally, in terms of supercritical fluid flow dynamics and mixing. Gaseous oxygen (GOX) is axially directed through a center post at a temperature of 687.7 K. Kerosene is tangentially introduced into the outer coaxial swirler at a temperature of 492.2 K. The mean chamber pressure of 253.0 bars substantially exceeds the thermodynamic critical pressures of oxygen and kerosene. The end of the GOX post is recessed from the entrance of the taper region, which is connected downstream to an open domain. A wide range of recess lengths (and correspondingly, fuel shielding collar lengths) is considered to determine the dependence of flow characteristics on this geometric parameter. Special attention is given to the regions downstream of the GOX post end and in the taper section, where primary mixing occurs. Instantaneous and time-averaged flow properties, as well as mixing effectiveness, are examined. Results indicate that the recess length plays a critical role in determining the flow evolution and mixing behaviors. In a fully recessed injector without fuel shielding, the initial kerosene/GOX interaction resembles a swirling transverse jet into a crossflow, and flow recirculation occurs near the kerosene injection slit and the head end. In other injectors with fuel shielding, the kerosene flow is predominantly axial before it enters the mixing zone; the coflow kerosene and GOX streams expand radially and recirculate in the wake of the GOX post. Flow unsteadiness arising from the fluid injection and mixing and vorticity production in the boundary layer of the GOX stream, along the wall of the fuel passage, and at the kerosene/GOX interface cause the development of salient vortical structures in the downstream flowfield. The geometric changes at the entrance of the taper region and at the injector exit further alter the flow dynamics, inducing multiple toroidal recirculation zones and secondary vortex structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075106
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1

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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