Injection and swirl driven flowfields in solid and liquid rocket motors

Anand B Vyas, Marquette University


In this work, we seek approximate analytical solutions to describe the bulk flow motion in certain types of solid and liquid rocket motors. In the case of an idealized solid rocket motor, a cylindrical double base propellant grain with steady regression rate is considered. The well known inviscid profile determined by Culick is extended here to include the effects of viscosity and steady grain regression. The approximate analytical solution for the cold flow is obtained from similarity principles, perturbation methods and the method of variation of parameters. The velocity, vorticity, pressure gradient and the shear stress distributions are determined and interpreted for different rates of wall regression and injection Reynolds number. The liquid propellant rocket engine considered here is based on a novel design that gives rise to a cyclonic flow. The resulting bidirectional motion is triggered by the tangential injection of an oxidizer just upstream of the chamber nozzle. Velocity, vorticity and pressure gradient distributions are determined for the bulk gas dynamics using a non-reactive inviscid model. Viscous corrections are then incorporated to explain the formation of a forced vortex near the core. Our results compare favorably with numerical simulations and experimental measurements obtained by other researchers. They also indicate that the bidirectional vortex in a cylindrical chamber is a physical solution of the Euler equations. In closing, we investigate the possibility of multi-directional flow behavior as predicted by Euler's equation and as reported recently in laboratory experiments.

Recommended Citation

Vyas, Anand B, "Injection and swirl driven flowfields in solid and liquid rocket motors" (2003). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3107902.