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Experiments on Mixing and Combustion with Low Heat Release in a Turbulent Shear Flow


Mungal, Mark Godfrey (1983) Experiments on Mixing and Combustion with Low Heat Release in a Turbulent Shear Flow. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/QZ4F-V692.


A new blowdown facility to study mixing and combustion in a turbulent shear layer has been built. The system is capable of 100 m/s for three seconds in a 5 x 20 cm exit area on the high speed side, and 50 m/s in a 10 x 20 cm exit area on the low speed side. Dilute concentrations of hydrogen and fluorine, carried in an inert gas, react when both fluid streams meet at the tip of a splitter plate. The reaction is spontaneous, rapid, and highly exothermic. The resulting temperature field has been studied using a rake of eight fast response thermometers placed across the width of the layer. Runs have been performed for low heat release over a wide range of equivalence (concentration) ratios, at a Reynolds number of 30,800 based on velocity difference and vorticity thickness. The heat release is sufficiently low so that the overall properties of the mixing layer are not significantly changed from the cold case.

The results show the presence of large, hot structures within the flow together with cool, irrotational tongues of freestream fluid that penetrate deep into the layer. Thus, it is possible for the entire width of the layer to be quite hot, owing to the passage of a large structure, or for the layer to be quite cool, owing to the presence of the cool fluid tongues. The mean temperature results from a duty cycle whereby a given point in the flow sees alternating hot and cool fluid which averages into the local mean. The mean temperature profiles do not achieve the adiabatic flame temperature at any location across the layer, with the maximum mean temperature, depending upon the equivalence ratio, varying from 54% to 67% of the adiabatic flame temperature. The location of the maximum mean temperature shifts by about 25% of the visual thickness of the layer for a change of equivalence ratio by a factor of 64. The amount of product formed in the layer is compared to earlier measurements in water, and, it is found that at a speed ratio of 0.40, there exists 20 to 25% more product in gaseous flows, implying that molecular diffusion, or in nondimensional form the Schmidt number, plays a role in mixing at large Reynolds number. The present results compare favorably with the recent theoretical model of Broadwell and Breidenthal for mixing and chemical reaction in a turbulent shear layer. With this model it is possible to bring the results for gases and liquids into quantitative agreement.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Combustion; mixing; turbulence
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Shair, Fredrick H. (chair)
  • Broadwell, James E.
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang
  • Roshko, Anatol
  • Zukoski, Edward E.
Defense Date:19 November 1982
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)F44620-76-C-0046
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)F49620-79-C-0159
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-09142006-144655
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3541
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 Oct 2006
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 20:01

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PDF (Mungal_mg_1983.pdf) - Final Version
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