Experimental and numerical investigation of ethanol film cooling


Within a Belgian-German GSTP project, an experimental setup was designed, manufactured and tested to provide data on the behaviour of a shear-driven liquid film. The tests were performed on a flat plate in a rectangular duct using ethanol as film coolant at DLR’s vitiated hot air facility M11. In addition to standard measurement equipment comprising thermocouples and pressure sensors, nonintrusive measurement techniques were applied to acquire additional data of the film. The Von-Karman-Institute for Fluid Dynamics provided in-situ film temperature measurement using a dedicated laser-induced fluorescence setup. DLR performed background-oriented Schlieren measurements to record information on the film thickness. The experimental data was used by ArianeGroup and Numeca International to validate different software tools to describe the heat flux to the film and its dry-out. While ArianeGroup used its film cooling model implemented in the Rocflam3 code, Numeca performed VOF simulations using its updated Fine™/Open flow solver.

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Background-oriented Schlieren


Computer-aided design


Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt


Laser-induced fluorescence




Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes


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The work presented in this publication was performed under ESA contract 4000123717/18/NL/RA. The support of Belspo and DLR is highly appreciated.

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SS coordinated the activities and managed the program. HR was responsible for the selection of operating points and performed simulations with the Nusselt-based RANS model. AS and JBG developed the LIF setup and performed the LIF measurements on site. FSt and CK perfromed the test campaign and processed the raw test data. CD and KC developed the heat and mass transfer model for the VOF simulations. JS acted as program manager on behalf of ESA. All authors read and apporved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sebastian Soller.

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Soller, S., Riedmann, H., Simonini, A. et al. Experimental and numerical investigation of ethanol film cooling. CEAS Space J (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12567-021-00373-5

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  • Liquid film cooling
  • LIF temperature measurement
  • VOF simulation
  • Ethanol film cooling