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Transcritical diffuse-interface hydrodynamics of propellants in high-pressure combustors of chemical propulsion systems

Event Type: 
Date and Time: 
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 04:30
Event Sponsor: 
Parviz Moin, Director of Center for Turbulence Research
Dr. Javier Urzay

Rocket engines and high-power new generations of jet engines and diesel engines oftentimes involve the injection of one or more reactants at subcritical temperatures into combustor environments at high pressures, and more particularly at pressures higher than those corresponding to the critical points of the separate components, which typically range from 13 to 50 bars for most propellants. This class of trajectories in the thermodynamic space has been traditionally referred to as transcritical. However, the fundamental understanding of fuel atomization, vaporization, mixing, and combustion processes at such high pressures remains elusive. A theory of the transcritical hydrodynamics of propellants in high-pressure combustors will be presented in this talk. This theory couples the multicomponent Navier-Stokes conservation equations with an extended version of the diffuse-interface theory of van der Waals. Technological factors that motivate the investigation of this problem will be outlined, and fundamental transcritical flow structures revealed by this theory will be discussed.

Dr. Javier Urzay is a Sr. Research Engineer at the Stanford Center for Turbulence Research, where he has worked for nearly a decade. He received his B.Sc./M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 from the Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain), and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering in 2006 and 2010 from the University of California San Diego working on theoretical combustion physics and fluid mechanics. His research interests include high-speed, chemically reacting, multi-phase turbulent flows, hypersonic aerothermodynamics, supersonic combustion, high-pressure propulsion systems, chemical rockets, and their applications to aeronautics and astronautics. He is currently a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves under the Air Mobility Command at Travis Air Force Base.