Experimental study on the flow field behind a backward-facing step using a detonation-driven shock tunnel
The supersonic combustion RAM jet (SCRAM jet) engine is expected to be used in next-generation space planes and hypersonic airliners. To develop the engine, stabilized combustion in a supersonic flow field must be attained even though the residence time of flow is extremely short. A mixing process for breathed air and fuel injected into the supersonic flow field is therefore one of the most important design problems. Because the flow inside the SCRAM jet engine has high enthalpy, an experimental facility is required to produce the high-enthalpy flow field. In this study, a detonation-driven shock tunnel was built to produce a high-enthalpy flow, and a model SCRAM jet engine equipped with a backward-facing step was installed in the test section of the facility to visualize flow fields using a color schlieren technique and high-speed video camera. The fuel was injected perpendicularly to a Mach 3 flow behind the backward-facing step. The height of the step, the injection distance and injection pressure were varied to investigate the effects of the step on air/fuel mixing characteristics. The results show that the recirculation region increases as the fuel injection pressure increases. For injection behind the backward-facing step, mixing efficiency is much higher than with a flat plate. Also, the injection position has a significant influence on the size of the recirculation region generated behind the backward-facing step. The schlieren photograph and pressure histories measured on the bottom wall of the SCRAM jet engine model show that the fuel was ignited behind the step.
KeywordsSCRAM jet engine Detonation-driven shock tunnel Backward-facing step Supersonic combustion
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