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Project Report on

Analysis of Fluid Flow in Rocket

Nozzles BY
A.Venkat (07311A0353)
Under the guidance of
Mr. V. Vasudeva Rao
Sree Nidhi Institute Of Science and Technology
 Abstract
 Introduction to Fluid Flow
 Parameters governing the Fluid Flow
 Brief Introduction to Rocket Nozzles
 Criterion for 1-D gas flow in Rocket Nozzles
 Design Of rocket Nozzles based on Nozzle
 Conclusion
 References
 The main aim of the project is to analyze the flow
of the fluid(propellants) inside a rocket nozzle. A
procedure is outlined for calculating the maximum
changes in the exhaust velocity of gases which
can be introduced during flow through a rocket
nozzle as the result of vibrational time lags.
Introduction to Fluid Flow
 Fluid flow Fluids (liquids and gases) are a form of
matter that cannot achieve equilibrium under an
applied shear stress but deform continuously, or
flow, as long as shear stress is applied. The fluid
flow means the movement of materials through
certain bounded regions (pipe). The study of fluid
flow can be divided in to :
 Fluid Statics : it deals with fluid at rest in
 Fluid dynamic s: it deals with fluid in motion.
Types of Fluid Flows
 Steady Flow : In steady flow the velocity of the
fluid particles at any point is constant as time
 Unsteady Flow : Unsteady flow exists whenever
the velocity at a point in the fluid changes as time
 Turbulent Flow : Turbulent flow is characterized
by the irregular movement of particles of the fluid.
There is no definite frequency as there is in wave
motion. The particles travel in irregular paths with
no observable pattern and no definite layers. The
flow becomes irregular exceeds a certain velocity
any condition that causes abrupt changes in
velocity Eddy currents are a characteristic of
 Streamline Flow : When the flow is steady,
streamlines are often used to represent the
trajectories of the fluid particles. A streamline is a
line drawn in the fluid such that a tangent to the
streamline at any point is parallel to the fluid
velocity at that point. Steady flow is often called
streamline flow.
Reynolds Number
 The flow regime (either laminar or turbulent) is
determined by evaluating the Reynolds number of the
flow .The Reynolds number, based on studies of
Osborn Reynolds, is a dimensionless number
comprised of the physical characteristics of the flow.
 where: Re = Reynolds number (unit less) V = average
velocity (ft/sec) D = diameter of pipe (ft) μ = absolute
viscosity of fluid (lbf-sec/ft2) For practical purposes, if
the Reynolds number is less than 2100, the flow is
laminar. If it is greater than 4000, the flow is turbulent.
Flows with Reynolds numbers between 2100 and
4000 are sometimes referred to as transitional flows.
Most fluid systems in nuclear facilities operate with
turbulent flow.
Significance of Reynolds Number
 If the Reynolds number is less than 2100, the
flow is laminar. If it is greater than 4000, the flow
is turbulent.
 Flows with Reynolds numbers between 2100 and
4000 are sometimes referred to as transitional
 The fluid in the middle of the pipe will be moving
faster than the fluid next to the walls.
 At constant velocity fluid can change from laminar
to turbulent if pipe diameters increased. Decrease
in viscosity due to temperature change may also
show similar effects.
Velocity Distribution
 The velocity increases from zero at wall to max at
the axis of the tube. For Streamline flow .
 The graph of velocity Vs Distance from the wall is
parabola, sharply pointed at middle. Ave. V = ½
 For turbulent flow The graph is some what
flattened in the middle and Ave. V =0.8 Vmax.
Velocity profile for turbulent flow Velocity profile if
flow were laminar everywhere
Velocity profile inside a pipe
Bernoulli’s Theorem
 Bernoulli's principle states that for an inviscid
flow, an increase in the speed of the fluid occurs
simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a
decrease in the fluid's potential energy.
 Bernoulli's principle can be applied to various
types of fluid flow, resulting in what is loosely
denoted as Bernoulli's equation.
Simplified form of Bernoulli’s
 In many applications of Bernoulli's equation, the
change in the ρ g z term along the streamline is so
small compared with the other terms it can be
ignored. For example, in the case of aircraft in flight,
the change in height z along a streamline is so small
the ρ g z term can be omitted. This allows the above
equation to be presented in the following simplified
 where p0 is called total pressure, and q is dynamic
pressure. Many authors refer to
the pressure p as static pressure to distinguish it from
total pressure p0 and dynamic pressure q.
The simplified form of Bernoulli's equation can be
summarized in the following memorable word equation:
 static pressure + dynamic pressure = total pressure Every
point in a steadily flowing fluid, regardless of the fluid
speed at that point, has its own unique static
pressure p and dynamic pressure q. Their sum p + q is
defined to be the total pressure p0. The significance of
Bernoulli's principle can now be summarized as total
pressure is constant along a streamline.
 If the fluid flow is irrotational, the total pressure on every
streamline is the same and Bernoulli's principle can be
summarized as total pressure is constant everywhere in
the fluid flow. It is reasonable to assume that irrotational
flow exists in any situation where a large body of fluid is
flowing past a solid body. Examples are aircraft in flight,
and ships moving in open bodies of water. However, it is
important to remember that Bernoulli's principle does not
apply in the boundary layer or in fluid flow through
long pipes.
Compressible flow in fluid
 For a compressible fluid, with a barotropic equation of state, and
under the action of conservative forces, (constant along a

 p is the pressure ρ is the density , v is the flow speed ,Ψ is the

potential associated with the conservative force field, often
the gravitational potential. In engineering situations, elevations
are generally small compared to the size of the Earth, and the
time scales of fluid flow are small enough to consider the
equation of state as adiabatic. In this case, the above equation
(constant along a streamline)where, in addition to the terms listed
 γ is the ratio of the specific heats of the fluid, g is the
acceleration due to gravity ,z is the elevation of the point above a
reference plane. In many applications of compressible flow,
changes in elevation are negligible compared to the other terms,
so the term g and z can be omitted. A very useful form of the
equation is then:
p0 is the total pressure
ρ0 is the total density
Introduction to Rocket Nozzles
 A rocket engine nozzle is a propelling
nozzle usually of the de Laval type used in
a rocket engine to expand and accelerate the
combustion gases, from burning propellants, so
that the exhaust gases exit the nozzle
at hypersonic velocities.

Figure showing a simple de Laval nozzle

Criterion for 1-D gas flow in rocket
 Combustion gas is assumed to be IDEAL GAS.
 Gas flow is
 Gas flow is constant.
 Gas flow is along a straight line from gas inlet to
exhaust gas outlet.(i.e. along the nozzle’s axis of
 Gas flow behavior is compressible since the flow is at
very high velocities
Design of Nozzles based on Nozzle
 As the combustion gas enters the rocket nozzle, it is
traveling at subsonic velocities. As the throat
contracts down the gas is forced to accelerate until at
the nozzle throat, where the cross-sectional area is
the smallest, the linear velocity becomes sonic. From
the throat the cross-sectional area then increases, the
gas expands and the linear velocity becomes
progressively more supersonic.
 The linear velocity of the exiting exhaust gases can
be calculated using the following equation
 where: Ve= Exhaust velocity at nozzle exit,
m/sT= absolute temperature of inlet gas, K
 R= Universal gas law constant = 8314.5 J/(kmol·K)
 M= the gas molecular mass, kg/kmol (also known
as the molecular weight)
 k= cp / cv = isentropic expansion factor
 cp= specific heat of the gas at constant pressure
 cv= specific heat of the gas at constant volume
 Pe= absolute pressure of exhaust gas at nozzle
exit, Pa
 P= absolute pressure of inlet gas, Pa
 Some typical values of the exhaust gas velocity Ve for
rocket engines burning various propellants are:
 1.7 to 2.9 km/s (3800 to 6500 mi/h) for
liquid monopropellants
 2.9 to 4.5 km/s (6500 to 10100 mi/h) for
liquid bipropellants
 2.1 to 3.2 km/s (4700 to 7200 mi/h) for solid
 As a note of interest, Ve is sometimes referred to as
the ideal exhaust gas velocity because it based on the
assumption that the exhaust gas behaves as an ideal
Specific Impulse
 Thrust is the force which moves a rocket through
the air, and through space. Thrust is generated by
the propulsion system of the rocket through the
application of Newton's third law of motion: "For
every action there is an equal and opposite
reaction". A gas or working fluid is accelerated out
the rear of the rocket engine nozzle and the
rocket is accelerated in the opposite direction.
The thrust of a rocket engine nozzle can be
defined as
 and for perfectly expanded nozzles, this reduces to:
The specific impulse, Isp, is the ratio of the amount of
thrust produced to the weight flow of the propellants.
It is a measure of the fuel efficiency of a rocket
 It is observed exhaust velocity which is the most
prominent factor which governs the design of a
nozzle depends on four major factors.
 1.Pressure
 2.Temperature
 3.Friction/Air drag
 4.Nozzle geometry
 I would like to conclude saying that altering
physical parameters like pressure and
temperature would enhance the working of a
nozzle and thereby also provides a better nozzle
 Better optimization of the physical parameters is
a must for the proper working and safety of the
nozzle as well as the engine also.