Aerodynamics inside a Rapid Compression Machine

Authors: Gaurav Mittal, Chih-Jen Sung

Direct link to the paper:


The aerodynamicsinsidearapidcompressionmachine after the end of compression is investigated using planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) of acetone. To study the effect of reaction chamber configuration on the resulting aerodynamics and temperature field, experiments are conducted and compared using a creviced piston and a flat piston under varying conditions. Results show that the flat piston design leads to significant mixing of the cold vortex with the hot core region, which causes alternate hot and cold regions inside the combustion chamber. At higher pressures, the effect of the vortex is reduced. The creviced piston head configuration is demonstrated to result in drastic reduction of the effect of the vortex. Experimental conditions are also simulated using the Star-CD computational fluid dynamics package. Computed results closely match with experimental observation. Numerical results indicate that with a flat piston design, gas velocity after compression is very high and the core region shrinks quickly due to rapid entrainment of cold gases. Whereas, for a creviced piston head design, gas velocity after compression is significantly lower and the core region remains unaffected for a long duration. As a consequence, for the flat piston, adiabatic core assumption can significantly overpredict the maximum temperature after the end of compression. For the creviced piston, the adiabatic core assumption is found to be valid even up to 100 ms after compression. This work therefore experimentally and numerically substantiates the importance of piston head design for achieving a homogeneous core region insidearapidcompressionmachine.

Citation: G. Mittal and C. J. Sung, “Aerodynamics inside a Rapid Compression Machine,” Combustion and Flame 145, 160-180 (2006).