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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.149 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Print: 2150-766X
ISSN Online: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.2019027950
pages 241-262

A PREMIXED GREEN PROPELLANT CONSISTING OF N2O AND C2H4: EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF QUENCHING DIAMETERS TO DESIGN FLASHBACK ARRESTERS

Lukas Werling
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Space Propulsion, Hardthausen, 74239, Germany
Yannick Jooß
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Space Propulsion, Hardthausen, 74239, Germany
Maximilian Wenzel
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Space Propulsion, Hardthausen, 74239, Germany
Helmut K. Ciezki
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Space Propulsion, 74239 Hardthausen, Germany
Stefan Schlechtriem
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Space Propulsion, Hardthausen, 74239, Germany

ABSTRACT

Across the world several so-called green propellants for in-space and orbital propulsion are investigated to replace the highly toxic hydrazine. Aside from green alternatives based on ADN and H2O2, the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion examines a premixed propellant consisting of dinitrogen monoxide (N2O) and ethene (C2H4). The mixture called HyNOx (hydrocarbons mixed with nitrous oxide) offers high performance and low toxicity, but due to the premixed state, the danger of flame flashback across the injection system is a major issue. To avoid flashback during operation of a future engine, suitable flashback arresters are needed; thus, the quenching diameters and corresponding quenching Peclet numbers have to be derived. To analyze the quenching diameters, DLR uses an ignition and flashback test setup. The setup consists of two chambers separated by a fitting for capillaries which serve as flashback arresters. Capillaries with diameters between 0.1 and 0.5 mm were examined regarding their ability to quench the flame. Furthermore, one chamber can be equipped with glass windows to record high-speed videos of the flame propagation process. To obtain the critical quenching Peclet number the ignition pressure was consecutively raised until a flame flashback for a given capillary was observed. The quenching Peclet numbers were calculated according to the gas state at ignition. This resulted in critical Peclet numbers between 30 and 40. Additionally, high-speed videos were recorded to analyze the flame propagation speed during the combustion process. The average flame propagation speed was between 33 m/s for an ignition pressure of 0.49 bar and 40 m/s for an ignition pressure of 1 bar.


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