Research Papers

Propellant Driven Water Acceleration and Its Influence on System Durability

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Kluz, E. S. Geskin

 New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102-1982

J. Appl. Mech 78(4), 041006 (Apr 13, 2011) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003345 History: Received April 21, 2009; Revised December 24, 2010; Posted January 04, 2011; Published April 13, 2011; Online April 13, 2011

The work presented investigates numerically and experimentally a formation of high velocity liquid projectiles in the course of the unsteady water acceleration by gaseous products of a propellant combustion. The projectiles were generated in a water launcher, a cylindrical enclosure entailed with a tapered converging nozzle. Previous studies demonstrated that liquid projectiles could be utilized as forming, microforming, welding, and boring tools. It is expected that other applications, such as detonation free explosive neutralization or emission-free coal combustion, are also possible. While the effectiveness of a water projectile is determined directly by its velocity, the principal constraint of the proposed technology is water pressure developed in the launcher. Numerical and experimental studies of the correlation between the water pressure and projectile velocity were performed. The work involved application of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package, strain gauge tests, and direct measurement of water projectile velocity. Several assumptions were made for the development of a numerical procedure. The behavior of propellant combustion products, at the pressure approaching 1 GPa, was approximated by the Noble–Abel equation, and the process is assumed to be adiabatic. Moreover, the formalism of the equilibrium thermodynamics is applied to a high pressure (1GPa) supersonic fluid flow. Recorded enclosure strains and projectile velocities confirmed the practical accuracy of the numerical method applied. The major finding of this study is the influence of traveling compression waves on water pressure developed in the barrel and projectile exit velocity. The high pressure, cyclically amplified by wave processes, is a significant engineering obstacle compromising durability of the system.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of propellant driven water projectile launcher

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Figure 2

Finest 18400 CV mesh used for CFD simulation of a 300 mm barrel

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Figure 3

Description of numerical model

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Figure 4

Description of segregated model adapted for water launcher simulation

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Figure 5

Bench scale setup of water launcher

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Figure 6

Development of water projectile in air

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Figure 7

350 Ω, 2.10 factor, and 5 V rated strain gauge and its attachment to barrel surface

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Figure 8

Computational model of a thick wall cylinder

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Figure 9

Contours of volumetric phase fraction with visible viscosity effects at t=1.08×10−3 s from propellant ignition

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Figure 15

Nonelastic deformation of internal barrel bore-radiographic study with actual diameter measurement. Notice increased density at the nozzle converging section and layers directly bordering with barrel cavity.

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Figure 16

Structural failure of the launcher barrel after 210 experiments

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Figure 17

Metallographic sample revealing pitting and crack initiation

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Figure 10

Contours of velocity magnitude in the converging nozzle and collimator with a visible boundary layer at t=0.87×10−3 s from propellant ignition

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Figure 11

Dynamic response of barrel near to shell chamber versus calculated propellant gas pressure

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Figure 12

Strain gauge reading versus CFD sampled pressure with indicated periods of oscillation

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Figure 13

Calculated velocity at the nozzle exit

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Figure 14

Traveling compression pulse in the barrel




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