Influence of rarefaction on the flow dynamics of a stationary supersonic hot-gas expansion

G. Abbate, C.R. Kleijn, B.J. Thijsse, R.A.H. Engeln, M.C.M. Sanden, van de, D.C. Schram

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Abstract

The gas dynamics of a stationary hot-gas jet supersonically expanding into a low pressure environment is studied through numerical simulations. A hybrid coupled continuum-molecular approach is used to model the flow field. Due to the low pressure and high thermodynamic gradients, continuum mechanics results are doubtful, while, because of its excessive time expenses, a full molecular method is not feasible. The results of the hybrid coupled continuum-molecular approach proposed have been successfully validated against experimental data by R. Engeln et al. [Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 10, 595 (2001)] obtained by means of laser induced fluorescence. Two main questions are addressed: the necessity of applying a molecular approach where rarefaction effects are present in order to correctly model the flow and the demonstration of an invasion of the supersonic part of the flow by background particles. A comparison between the hybrid method and full continuum simulations demonstrates the inadequacy of the latter, due to the influence of rarefaction effects on both velocity and temperature fields. An analysis of the particle velocity distribution in the expansion-shock region shows clear departure from thermodynamic equilibrium and confirms the invasion of the supersonic part of the flow by background particles. A study made through particles and collisions tracking in the supersonic region further proves the presence of background particles in this region and explains how they cause thermodynamic nonequilibrium by colliding and interacting with the local particles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number036703
Pages (from-to)036703-1/9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume77
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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