Advanced optical diagnostics of multiphase combustion flow field using OH planar laser-induced fluorescence

Kevin Young-jin Cho, Purdue University


High-repetition-rate (5 kHz, 10 kHz) OH planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) was used to investigate the combustion of liquid, gelled, and solid propellants. For the liquid monomethyl hydrazine (MMH) droplet combustion experiment in N2O/N2 using 5 kHz OH PLIF and visible imaging system, the OH profile and the droplet diameter were measured. The N2O partial pressure was varied by 20% and 40%, and the total pressure was varied by 103, 172, 276, 414, 552 kPa. The OH location indicated that the oxidation flame front is between the visible dual flame fronts. The results showed thicker flame sheet and higher burning rate for increased N2O concentration for a given pressure. The burning rate increased with increased pressure at 20% partial pressure N2O, and the burning rate decreased with increased pressure at 40% partial pressure N2O. This work provides experimental data for validating chemical kinetics models. For the gelled droplet combustion experiment using a 5 kHz OH PLIF system, speeds and locations of fuel jets emanating from the burning gelled droplets were quantified for the first time. MMH was gelled with organic gellant HPC at 3 wt.% and 6 wt.%, and burned in air at 35, 103, 172, 276, and 414 kPa. Different types of interaction of vapor jets and flame front were distinguished for the first time. For high jet speed, local extinction of the flame was observed. By analyzing the jet speed statistics, it was concluded that pressure and jet speed had an inverse relationship and gellant concentration and jet speed had a direct relationship. This work provides more fundamental insight into the physics of gelled fuel droplet combustion. A 3D OH PLIF system was assembled and demonstrated using a 10 kHz OH PLIF system and a galvanometric scanning mirror. This is the first time that a reacting flow field was imaged with a 3D optical technique using OH PLIF. A 3D scan time of 1 ms was achieved, with ten slices generated per sweep with 1000 Hz scan rate. Alternatively, 3D scan time of 500 µs was achieved with a trapezoidal scan profile, generating five new slices per sweep at 1000 Hz scan rate. The system was applied to 3 wt.% and 6 wt.% HPC methanol gelled droplet combustion in 1 atm, and at room temperature. The system had sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to provide a more complete picture of the complex asymmetrical and random flame structure of the gelled droplet combustion. However, the technique had limited capabilities for resolving the impinging jet spray combustion flow field. For the ammonium perchlorate (AP)/ hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) combustion study with 3D OH PLIF, 40 wt.% coarse AP crystal (400 µm), 40 wt.% fine AP crystal (20 µm), and 20 wt.% HTPB binder formulation with pellet diameter of 6.35 mm was used. The scan rate was reduced to 250 Hz, resulting in 20 images generated per scan, 500 scans per second, and 2 ms scan time, with 1.5 mm scan distance. The test pressure ranged from 3.4 - 6.1 atm of nitrogen, with test temperature at room condition. The results from 3D OH PLIF of AP/HTPB combustion showed a diffusion flame structure, with a lack of OH in the middle of the flame. This is the first time a direct observation of the diffusion flame and the OH structure have been made at elevated pressure. The preliminary results show a good agreement with the BDP model, with a second order increase in the diffusion flame height with increased coarse crystal diameter. Although the scan of 3D OH PLIF is non-instantaneous, no other systems in the literature can scan reacting flow field at such a high 3D repetition rate. Since the identification of the transient flame patterns is facilitated by the ability to visualize the flame front at multiple planes, the 3D OH PLIF technique offers great promise as a diagnostic for dynamic combustion events.




Lucht, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering|Mechanical engineering|Optics

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