Research Papers: Internal Combustion Engines

Finite Element Analysis of the Unsteady Thrust Characteristics of Pulse Detonation Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
Dibesh D. Joshi

Aerodynamics Research Center,
Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019
e-mail: dibesh.joshi@mavs.uta.edu

Frank K. Lu

Aerodynamics Research Center,
Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019
e-mail: franklu@uta.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the IC Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received August 26, 2015; final manuscript received May 12, 2016; published online July 6, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Eric Petersen.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(12), 122801 (Jul 06, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-15-1422; doi: 10.1115/1.4033745 History: Received August 26, 2015; Revised May 12, 2016

A general, dynamical approach developed a high-fidelity, finite element model of a pulse detonation engine (PDE). The approach deconvolved the structural response due to cyclic acceleration that would be measured by a load cell, thereby obtaining the actual thrust that is produced. The model was excited with pressure pulses that simulated actual detonation pressure characteristics at different frequencies. A two-step process was developed. In the first step, the system dynamics was established and validated by deconvolving from a known input in the form of pressure pulses from which the reconstructed thrust output was obtained. The second step required that the deconvolved thrust be compensated for system acceleration. This step required the effective mass and induced acceleration to be determined which then yielded an inertial load that has to be removed from the reconstructed thrust to obtain the actual thrust. The compensated thrust values were expressed in the form of specific impulse for the PDE which compared well with a priori pulsed thrust loading.

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Fig. 1

Stages of a PDE cycle

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Fig. 2

Three-dimensional model of the PDE

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Fig. 3

Transient solver settings for the FEA of PDE

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Fig. 4

Sample magnitude spectrum of the response to estimate highest mode of vibration

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Fig. 5

Comparison of force reaction for different mesh sizes under 300 N force input

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Fig. 6

Fourteenth mode shape for type IV mesh

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Fig. 7

Meshed model used for FEA

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Fig. 8

Mesh refinement at the thrust wall

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Fig. 9

Applied input and computed output used to establish transfer function: (a) input and (b) output

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Fig. 10

(a) Magnitude and (b) phase spectra of the transfer function for the finite element model

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Fig. 11

Reconstruction of output for same (a) and different cases (b) with the established system transfer function

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Fig. 12

Sample input excitations used in FEA to calculate thrust at 100 Hz

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Fig. 13

Calculated and reconstructed thrust: (a) 10 Hz, (b) 20 Hz, (c) 50 Hz, and (d) 100 Hz

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Fig. 14

Sample acceleration of the thrust stand computed using FEA: (a) 50 Hz and (b) 100 Hz

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Fig. 15

Calculated and compensated impulse per pulse per unit area of the PDE from FEA

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Fig. 16

Comparison of specific impulse of the PDE from FEA with published data



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