Characterizing cryogenic propellant flow behavior through a cavitating venturi in comparison to alternative flow control mechanisms

Marjorie Adele Ingle, University of Texas at El Paso


The work detailed is an investigation of the use of a cavitating venturi as both a flow control and metering device. This was achieved through the combination of actual experimentation and numerical modeling of the fluid behavior of both liquid water and liquid methane as it passes through the test article designed, developed, and validated here within this study. The discharge coefficient of the cavitating venturi was determined through weigh flow calibration testing to determine an average mass flow rate. Turbine flow meter flow rate readings were used as a point of comparison and the discharge coefficient was computed. The discharge coefficient was then implemented into the Bernoulli Equation along with experimental pressure and temperature data to again calculate mass flow rate through the cavitating venturi. The agreement of the venturi flow rate data to that of the turbine flow meter effectively established its applicability as a passive flow control and metering feature. A preliminary CFD cavitation model was developed and validated for cavitating water flow regimes using ANSYS FLUENT. Agreement between mass flow rates obtained from the model to experimental data for cavitating water flow indicates that deviations in results for liquid methane analysis from experimental results could simply be the result of insufficiently defined fluid characteristics in the ANSYS FLUENT materials database. SEM surface roughness analysis of a secondary test article indicated that the default average surface roughness for steel in ANSYS FLUENT was reasonable. In addition, the methodology could be further applied to future duty life studies for the cavitating venturi flow meter.^

Subject Area

Engineering, Aerospace|Engineering, Mechanical

Recommended Citation

Ingle, Marjorie Adele, "Characterizing cryogenic propellant flow behavior through a cavitating venturi in comparison to alternative flow control mechanisms" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1564678.