• Effect of micro- and elevated gravity condition on the evolution of stratification and self-pressurization in a cryogenic propellant tank

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    • Keywords


      Cryogenics; thermal stratification; VOF.

    • Abstract


      An efficient way of handling and storing cryogenic propellant is required for future space exploration. In rocketry applications, propellants are stored at subcooled conditions in foam-insulated tanks. Any kind of heat infiltration may lead to stratification and self-pressurization of the tank. The supply of warm propellantbeyond the cavitation limit to a turbo-pump is dangerous and hence additional propellant has to be loaded, which affects the payload capacity. The evolution of stratification during lift-off and accelerated conditions and coastphase will be different from those during normal ambient conditions. During lift-off the gravity value can reach up to 6g and microgravity (μg) conditions at the coast phase. Hence, accurate prediction of the state of propellant at all stage is required for the successful mission planning. A multiphase axis-symmetric CFD model is developed, which can simultaneously account for heat transfer from the ambient and heat exchanges within the fluids during different gravity conditions. The results show that the self-pressurisation in microgravity condition is due to phase change rather than thermal stratification. The flow velocity will be maximum during lift-off and accelerated condition. Hence, greater self-pressurisation happens during the initial period and reduction in pressure rise rate is noticed later, which is due to turbulence of the fluid.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Centre for Advanced Studies in Cryogenics, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Calicut 673601, India
    • Dates


© 2017-2019 Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru.