Design of a Regenerative Nozzle for Aluminum-water Combustion

Open Access
Ciasullo, Kevin J
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Thomas Cawley, Thesis Supervisor
  • Zoubeida Ounaies, Honors Advisor
  • Aluminum combustion
  • heat transfer
  • regenerative nozzle
This work details the design of a new converging regenerative nozzle for an aluminum-water combustor. The combustion reaction involves an intimate mixing of aluminum powder and steam with liquid water used as a periphery wall coolant. The nozzle provides two necessary functions for this system: to create backpressure within the research combustor and to generate steam to be transported upstream and mixed with the aluminum powder. The nozzle design features a single pass circular channel that spirals around the converging wall. Three models have been developed in order to determine the conditions in the channel. The first is a simple combustion model to determine the potential energy transfer into the nozzle based on the inlet and exit conditions of a steady state reaction. The second model uses a chemical equilibrium analysis in order to calculate the convection and radiation heat transfer into the nozzle from the combustion reaction. The third model calculates the pressure drop through the channel. Future work should check the validity of these models and incorporate more efficient heat transfer methods.