An Experimental Investigation of Inlet Fuel Injection in a Three-Dimensional Scramjet Engine

James Turner (2010). An Experimental Investigation of Inlet Fuel Injection in a Three-Dimensional Scramjet Engine PhD Thesis, Mechanical Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author James Turner
Thesis Title An Experimental Investigation of Inlet Fuel Injection in a Three-Dimensional Scramjet Engine
School, Centre or Institute Mechanical Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Michael Smart
Allan Paull
Total pages 261
Total colour pages 16
Total black and white pages 245
Subjects 09 Engineering
Abstract/Summary Inlet-injection was motivated by the possibility for skin-friction reduction in the combustion chamber of a flight style, three-dimensional, scramjet engine. High Mach number flight, where skin friction in the combustion chamber is a significant proportion of the overall drag, is the regime of interest for this type of reduction. This is a result of high Mach number supersonic flow within the combustion chamber, coupled with high densities due to the compression process. The flight condition of interest was chosen to be Mach 8.0 at an altitude of 30km. This choice was dictated by near-term flight-testing capabilities. The approach was to design an inlet with a reduced contraction ratio. This would produce a relatively low-density combustion-chamber flow, that would, in turn, lead to lower viscous drag. Due to low temperatures in the combustion chamber, as a result of the reduced compression, a novel method of ignition was required. This fluid-dynamic ignition technique made use of inlet injection together with flow non-uniformities generated by the inlet. The inlet chosen for this purpose was a rectangular-to-elliptical-shape-transition inlet or REST inlet. The focus of the investigation, was therefore, to determine the potential for performance improvement using inlet injection of fuel. The general approach to the investigation was experimental, using a scramjet model consisting of inlet, combustion chamber and a truncated nozzle. Flow-path thrust-potential was used as the primary performance parameter, where the term `thrust-potential' is used to indicate the lack of full expansion. A secondary performance metric was combustion efficiency, determined by matching one-dimensional analysis to experimental pressure distributions. In addition to inlet-injection, conventional injection into the combustion-chamber was tested as the performance baseline. Based on findings from these tests, two additional methods of injection were investigated both having a combination of inlet and combustion-chamber injection. The general findings showed that inlet injection, in comparison to combustion-chamber injection, produced an increase in performance in terms of thrust-potential and combustion efficiency for supersonic combustion. This occurred over a range of equivalence ratios up to 1.0. However, the maximum thrust developed by inlet injection was limited by engine unstart. In terms of the maximum thrust-potential, combustion-chamber injection exceeded that of inlet injection but significantly higher fuelling was required and poor combustion efficiency persisted. In order to offset the limit in thrust production due to unstart, an alternative fuelling method was implemented. This took the form of partial injection of the fuel in the combustion chamber in combination with inlet injection. An increase in thrust-potential and combustion efficiency as a result of increased fuel coverage in areas of the combustion chamber, which were fuel lean under inlet-injection. A thrust potential level similar to that of combustion-chamber injection was achieved with significantly higher combustion efficiency and consequently a lower fuelling level. This type of combined-injection is an attractive option for fuel delivery at the nominal flight condition. An additional finding for combustion-chamber and combined injection was that very high equivalence ratios led to separated flow in the combustion chamber and isolator. This was a result of excessive heat release producing an adverse pressure gradient in the engine. This mode of operation showed high levels of thrust-potential at equivalence ratios in excess of 1.0. Although interesting, these findings were outside the scope of the investigation since the flow within the combustion chamber is no longer purely supersonic.
Keyword scramjet, hypersonic, experimental, supersonic combustion, inlet-injection, skin-friction
radical-farming, ignition, three-dimensional inlet
Additional Notes Colour pages: 52,61,62,64,65,66,81,82,85,93,104,105,222,226,228,252 Landscape pages 156,255-261

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Created: Fri, 26 Feb 2010, 12:04:23 EST by Mr James Turner on behalf of Library - Information Access Service