Date of Award

Summer 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

S. N. Tiwari

Committee Member

R. L. Ash

Committee Member

A. O. Demuren

Committee Member

J. Tweed

Committee Member

J. R. Drummond


This study deals with a systematic investigation of nonequilibrium processes in supersonic combustion. The two-dimensional, elliptic Navier-Stokes equations are used to investigate supersonic flows with nonequilibrium chemistry and thermodynamics, coupled with radiation, for hydrogen-air systems. The explicit, unsplit MacCormack finite-difference scheme is used to advance the governing equations in time, until convergence is achieved.

For a basic understanding of the flow physics, premixed flows undergoing finite rate chemical reactions are investigated. Results obtained for specific conditions indicate that the radiative interactions vary substantially, depending on reactions involving HO$\sb2$ and NO species, and that this can have a noticeable influence on the flowfield.

The second part of this study deals with premixed reacting flows under thermal nonequilibrium conditions. Here, the critical problem is coupling of the vibrational relaxation process with the radiative heat transfer. The specific problem considered is a premixed expanding flow in a supersonic nozzle. Results indicate the presence of nonequilibrium conditions in the expansion region of the nozzle. This results in reduction of the radiative interactions in the flowfield.

Next, the present study focuses on investigation of non-premixed flows under chemical nonequilibrium conditions. In this case, the main problem is the coupled turbulence-chemistry interaction. The resulting formulation is validated by comparison with experimental data on reacting supersonic coflowing jets. Results indicate that the effect of heat release is to lower the turbulent shear stress and the mean density. The last part of this study proposes a new theoretical formulation for the coupled turbulence-radiation interactions. Results obtained for the coflowing jets experiment indicate that the effect of turbulence is to enhance the radiative interactions.