Spinning effects on a trapped vortex combustor

S. Chen, R.S.M. Chue, Ching Man Yu, J.U. Schlüter

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2015 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.The trapped vortex combustor concept provides a simple design for flame stabilization by trapping a pilot flame inside a cavity instead of exposing it to the mainstream. Under some circumstances, the combustor may operate in a high-spinning motion (for example, when it is installed in a spin-stabilized ramjet projectile), in which the spinning rate can be as high as 30,000 rpm. The objective of this study is to numerically investigate the effects of high-spinning motion on the trapped vortex combustor, including the cavity vortex dynamics, fuel-air mixing, and combustion performance. Numerical computations have been performed with the Reynolds stress model for turbulence and the eddy dissipation model for combustion in a rotating reference frame. The results of the spinning trapped vortex combustor show that the Coriolis effects dominate the flow in the cavity whenit is subjectedto ahigh-spinning motion (30,000 rpm). The vortex breakdowninthe cavity brings strong three-dimensional flow and promotes fuel-air mixing so that a stronger cavity pilot flame is generated. But, the effect of the centrifugal force also generates a short recirculation zone in the main combustor and concentrates the fuel stream on the combustor axis, which in turn impairs fuel-air mixing and leads to a longer main combustor flame.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1145
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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