Numerical investigation of a trapped vortex miniature ramjet combustor

S. Chen, R.S.M. Chue, J. Schlüter, T.T.Q. Nguyen, Ching Man Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2014 by Nanyang Technological University.The design of a miniature ramjet combustor using gaseous methane fuel for Mach 2.5 has been conducted. The main challenges stem mainly from the insufficient space for mixing and burning, short residence time, and the flame stabilization. Impossible utilization of relatively large air-blast fuel injectors provides more difficulties for the design. The trapped vortex combustor, as a novel way of flameholding by trapping the pilot flame inside a cavity instead of exposing it to the mainstream, is selected. Three main parts are studied numerically, which include the cold flowfield characteristics, the fuel-injection schemes, and the overall combustion performance. The results show that the drag coefficient can helptodetermine the optimum cavity size for trappingastable vortex. Injecting all the fuel inthe cavity always leads to an overly fuel-rich condition, whereas injecting in front of the cavity with a momentum flux ratio q between 0.61 and 1.0 can successfully achieve stoichiometric mixing in the cavity. However, compared to nonreacting fuel mixing, the combustion performance is found to be more sensitive to the value of q. Among the cases studied, the one with a small q of about 0.61 has more intense pilot flames andshorter main combustor flames. The effectsofangled injection, upstream injection location, and the combustor length based on the found q are also investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-882
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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