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Computational Study of Reactants Mixing in a Rotating Detonation Combustor Using Compressible RANS


This study considers the steady-state, non-reacting mixing of fuel and air within the hydrogen-air Rotating Detonation Combustor (RDC) currently in use at TU Berlin. The interaction of reactants occurs in a confined jet-in-crossflow (JIC) configuration with an axially injected fuel jet and an air stream entering radially inwards. The investigation of the baseline flow case provided three flow characteristics primarily responsible for affecting the process of mixing: supersonic shock patterns, the existence of two major recirculation zones, and a counter-rotating vortex pair (CVP) structure. In a parametric study with nine different flow configurations, attained by the variation of reactant inlet flow rates, the effect on mixing behavior and performance was analyzed in order to determine the most impactful parameter for the RDC refill process. The air mass flow rate was identified as the primary parameter with respect to the general flow field due to the interaction of a dominant air barrel shock with the fuel jet. The low flow rate cases allowed the greater fuel and air jet interaction in the near injection region of the combustor, whereas in the far field the higher flow rate configurations attained comparable mixing quality despite more complicated fuel and air jet shock structures.

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A :

area, m2

A :

area, m2

a :

jet trajectory model factor

c :

jet trajectory model exponent

D :

outer diameter of the combustion annulus, m

d :

fuel injection hole diameter, m

J :

jet-to-crossflow momentum flux ratio

M :

Mach number

m :

jet trajectory model exponent

\(\dot {m}\) :

mass flow rate, kg/s

p :

pressure, N/m2

U :


u :

velocity, m/s

w :

air inlet slot width, m

x :

radial position, m

Y :

mass fraction

y :

axial position, m


circulation, m2/s

γ :

heat capacity ratio


channel width, m

ρ :

density, kg/m3

ϕ :

equivalence ratio

φ :

circumferential angle,

ω :

vorticity, s− 1

a :


c :

values for crossflow properties in model

F :


j :

values for jet properties in model

O :



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Financial support from the Einstein Foundation Berlin (grant number EVF-2015-229 (TU)) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Myles D. Bohon.

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This study was funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin (grant number EVF-2015-229 (TU)). The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Weiss, S., Bohon, M.D., Paschereit, C.O. et al. Computational Study of Reactants Mixing in a Rotating Detonation Combustor Using Compressible RANS. Flow Turbulence Combust 105, 267–295 (2020).

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  • Rotating detonation
  • Jet-in-crossflow
  • Mixing
  • Pressure gain combustion
  • Under-expanded jets