Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 409–416 | Cite as

Study on micronozzle flow and propulsion performance using DSMC and continuum methods

  • Minghou Liu
  • Xianfeng Zhang
  • Genxuan Zhang
  • Yiliang Chen
Research Paper


In this paper, both DSMC and Navier–Stokes computational approaches were applied to study micronozzle flow. The effects of inlet condition, wall boundary condition, Reynolds number, micronozzle geometry and Knudsen number on the micronozzle flow field and propulsion performance were studied in detail. It is found that within the Knudsen number range under consideration, both the methods work to predict flow characteristics inside micronozzles. The continuum method with slip boundary conditions has shown good performance in simulating the formation of a boundary layer inside the nozzle. However, in the nozzle exit lip region, the DSMC method is better due to gas rapid expansion. It is found that with decreasing the inlet pressure, the difference between the continuum model and DSMC results increases due to the enhanced rarefaction effect. The coefficient of discharge and the thrust efficiency increase with increasing the Reynolds number. Thrust is almost proportional to the nozzle width. With dimension enlarged, the nozzle performance becomes better while the rarefaction effects would be somewhat weakened.


Micronozzle DSMC Continuum model Slip boundary condition Thrust efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minghou Liu
    • 1
  • Xianfeng Zhang
    • 1
  • Genxuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Yiliang Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Thermal Science and Energy EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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