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PhD defense: Simon BLANCHARD – “Multi-physics Large-Eddy Simulation of methane oxy-combustion in Liquid Rocket Engines “

  Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 14h00

  Phd Thesis       Cerfacs, Toulouse (France) - Salle Séminaires     

weblink: https://cerfacs.webex.com/cerfacs/j.php?MTID=mbe382c39536bace01c8637ab916aada7


Combustion in Liquid Rocket Engines (LRE) happens in extreme conditions which imply several multi-physics phenomena. For this reason, numerical simulation is used to predict and thus to optimize the engine performances and lifetime. In particular this thesis focuses on two main aspects: turbulent oxy-combustion in diffusion flames of methane at high pressure, and prediction of wall heat transfers. The Large Eddy Simulation (LES) code AVBP of CERFACS is used.

Despite its lower performances, methane is now preferred to hydrogen for future LRE because of its reduced cost and its practicality both for in terms of usage and storage. For numerical simulation, this propellant raises new questions about how to ignite and stabilize the flame. To do so, developing realistic chemistry is a key step. Reduced finite rate chemistry schemes with about 15 species are derived and tested for high pressure and highly strained counterflow diffusion flames. However, even reduced kinetic schemes are still expensive in the context of industrial LES simulations. Therefore a new integration method for the chemical source terms is proposed in order to run reactive simulations closer to the flow time step. It is found that significant computational cost is spared, while keeping the same result accuracy compared to the classical integration. Finally, in order to develop future turbulent diffusion flame modeling, a study on how the mesh resolution impacts diffusion flames is also performed. The development of reduced chemistry allows to study precisely the influence of chemical reactions at the near-wall region in LRE conditions on the wall heat flux. Periodic turbulent channels are computed to compare the resolved and non-resolved turbulent boundary layer, with or without chemical reactions. Results show that the near-wall reactions may have a real impact on wall heat flux, and that wall models should take into account this effect in the context of wall-modeled LES.

Another study is conducted to determine the impact of the coupling between the sub-grid scale model and the wall-law on the wall fluxes prediction. It is shown that the amount of turbulent viscosity at the near-wall region greatly changes the fluxes. A stochastic-based model is proposed in the case of isothermal simulations, in order to improve the results for two common LES sub-grid scale models, WALE and Sigma.

The developed models and analyses of those test cases are then used for the LES simulation of two test rigs: the supercritical 5-injectors GCH4/GOx from ONERA and the subcritical single-injector GCH4/LOx from TUM. Their study particularly focuses on the flame behavior and the wall heat flux comparison with experiment.


Fabien HALTER Professor – ICARE, Université d'Orléans Referee
Pierre BOIVIN Research Director

M2P2, Université de Marseille

Michael PFITZNER     Professor – Institut für Thermodynamik, Universität der Bundeswehr München Member
Franck NICOUD Professor – IMAG, Université de Montpellier Member
Thomas SCHMITT       Research Director

EM2C, Université de Paris-Saclay

Philippe GRENARD Research Director


Invited member
Miguel MARTIN-BENITO Engineer – CNES Invited member
Didier SAUCEREAU     Engineer – ArianeGroup Invited member
Bénédicte CUENOT Senior Researcher – CERFACS Advisor







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  Phd Thesis       Cerfacs, JCA room, Toulouse, France