Experiments on supersonic combustion ramjet propulsion in a shock tunnel

Paull A., Stalker R.J. and Mee D.J. (1995) Experiments on supersonic combustion ramjet propulsion in a shock tunnel. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 296 159-183. doi:10.1017/S0022112095002096

Author Paull A.
Stalker R.J.
Mee D.J.
Title Experiments on supersonic combustion ramjet propulsion in a shock tunnel
Journal name Journal of Fluid Mechanics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-7645
Publication date 1995-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0022112095002096
Volume 296
Start page 159
End page 183
Total pages 25
Subject 2210 Mechanical Engineering
2211 Mechanics of Materials
3104 Condensed Matter Physics
2206 Computational Mechanics
3100 Physics and Astronomy
Abstract Measurements have been made of the propulsive effect of supersonic combustion ramjets incorporated into a simple axisymmetric model in a free piston shock tunnel. The nominal Mach number was 6, and the stagnation enthalpy varied from 2.8 to 8.5 MJ kg-1. A mixture of 13% silane and 87% hydrogen was used as fuel, and experiments were conducted at equivalence ratios up to approximately 0.8. The measurements involved the axial force on the model, and were made using a stress wave force balance, which is a recently developed technique for measuring forces in shock tunnels. A net thrust was experienced up to a stagnation enthalpy of 3.7 MJ kg-1, but as the stagnation enthalpy increased, an increasing net drag was recorded. Pitot and static pressure measurements showed that the combustion was supersonic. The results were found to compare satisfactorily with predictions based on established theoretical models, used with some simplifying approximations. The rapid reduction of net thrust with increasing stagnation enthalpy was seen to arise from increasing precombustion temperature, showing the need to control this variable if thrust performance was to be maintained over a range of stagnation enthalpies. Both the inviscid and viscous drag were seen to be relatively insensitive to stagnation enthalpy, with the combustion chambers making a particularly significant contribution to drag. The maximum fuel specific impulse achieved in the experiments was only 175 s, but the theory indicates that there is considerable scope for improvement on this through aerodynamic design.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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