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On the wave propagation modes and operation range in rotating detonation combustor with varied injection and outlet throat

Authors: Y Wu, G Xu, C Ding, C Weng
Publisher: Physics of Fluids
The rotating detonation combustor (RDC) has received remarkable attention in the aerospace community. In this work, an experimental RDC model supplied by liquid kerosene and oxygen-enriched air is established. A parametric survey is performed with different injection throats, outlet restrictions, and equivalence ratios to analyze the rotating detonation wave propagation modes comprehensively. Dynamic pressure transducers and a high-speed camera are both employed to identify wave modes synchronously. Overall, the propagation modes are found to be highly dependent on the injection throat and combustor outlet restriction. With a large injection to annulus area ratio of 0.3, a single-wave mode is characterized when no restriction is added at the combustor outlet. Reducing the outlet area leads to a decrease in the wave frequency and a narrower steady rotating detonation propagation regime. The propagation stability of the rotating detonation is strengthened when the injection to annulus area ratio decreases to 0.2. A dual-wave collision mode and a four-wave collision mode are observed, depending on the outlet restriction. A preliminary stable RDC operation range correlated with outlet to injection throat area ratio and equivalence ratio is achieved. Furthermore, an interval value of the outlet to injection throat area ratio is proposed to reach the potential positive total pressure gain. These findings should serve as the reference for RDC configuration design in air-breathing and gas-turbine propulsion systems.
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