The safe and reliable operation of high-pressure test stands for rocket engine and component testing places an increased emphasis on the performance of control valves and flow metering devices. In this paper, we will present a series of high-fidelity computational analyses of systems ranging from cryogenic control valves and pressure regulator systems to cavitating venturis that are used to support rocket engine and component testing at NASA Stennis Space Center. A generalized multi-element framework with submodels for grid adaption, grid movement, and multi-phase flow dynamics has been used to carry out the simulations. Such a framework provides the flexibility of resolving the structural and functional complexities that are typically associated with valve-based high-pressure feed systems and have been difficult to deal with using traditional computational fluid dynamics methods. Our simulations revealed a rich variety of flow phenomena such as secondary flow patterns, hydrodynamic instabilities, fluctuating vapor pockets, etc. In the paper, we will discuss performance losses related to cryogenic control valves and provide insight into the physics of the dominant multi-phase fluid transport phenomena that are responsible for the “choking-like” behavior in cryogenic control elements. Additionally, we will provide detailed analyses of the modal instability that is observed in the operation of a pressure regulator valve. Such instabilities are usually not localized and manifest themselves as a system-wide phenomena leading to an undesirable chatter at high flow conditions.
Multi-Element Unstructured Analyses of Complex Valve Systems
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Ahuja, V., Hosangadi, A., Shipman, J., Daines, R., and Woods, J. (August 24, 2005). "Multi-Element Unstructured Analyses of Complex Valve Systems." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. July 2006; 128(4): 707–716. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2170119
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