Date of Award

Summer 2004

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Majdalani, Joseph

Second Advisor

Park, Hyunjae

Third Advisor

Borg, John


In this work, we provide a numerical simulation of the NASA sponsored cold wall bidirectional vortex chamber (CWBVC). The complex fluid dynamics situation in the vortex chamber is characterized by three-dimensionality, turbulence, and the interactive effects of the physical processes of combustion and heat transfer. These factors are influenced by the geometric nature of the problem and the engineering systems, which may be in place or under design. It would appear too challenging to obtain an exact solution that can describe the gas motion in this particular swirl-driven liquid propellant thrust chamber. But with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach, the various physical interactions that occur in the problem can be modeled simultaneously, and hence, their relative influence on the total behavior can be better understood. In this thesis, the CFD_commercial code FLUENT 6.1 with GAMBIT 2.0 preprocessor has been run on a Pentium 4 with a 3.0 GHz clock and 3GB of available 400 MHz RAM. The turbulence-chemistry interaction flow has been modeled by the nonpremixed combustion with an adiabatic Probability Density Function (PDF) look up table generated by PrePDF 4.1. Our main objective is to describe the bulk fluid motion with the unusual nature of the gas injection and the resulting bidirectional coaxial vortex, i.e. to investigate the turbulence-chemistry interaction flowfield in the vortex chamber. To carry out the reactive flow simulation, the viscous, incompressible cold flow situation is carried out first to get some feeling of the flow character. In the viscous, incompressible cold flow model, the geometric shape is based on ORBITEC's lab-scale experimental liquid rocket thrust chamber; however, instead of using a DeLaval nozzle, a straight nozzle (with constant cross section) is used. Then the reactive flow simulation is...



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