Comparative Study of OpenFOAM Solvers on Separation Pattern and Separation Pattern Transition in Overexpanded Single Expansion Ramp Nozzle

Document Type : Regular Article


1 School of Aeronautics, Chongqing Jiaotong University, 400074, Chongqing, China

2 The Green Aerotechnics Research Institute of Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Green Aviation energy and power, 401120, Chongqing, China

3 Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Aerospace Power System, 210016, Nanjing, China



Flow separation in overexpanded single expansion ramp nozzles (SERN) involves complex phenomena, such as shock waves, expansion waves, turbulent boundary layers, and shear layers. Computational fluid dynamics plays a crucial role in studying unsteady flow behaviour in supersonic nozzles, allowing for an investigation into the dynamic flow field characteristics. However, the application of OpenFOAM as a numerical tool for studying SERN in the field of compressible flows, particularly in the overexpansion state where the flow field characteristics are more complex, has received relatively less attention. In this study, the flow field characteristics of an overexpanded SERN under different turbulence models are investigated through a combination of experiments and numerical calculations. The qualitative and quantitative predictive performance of two compressible flow solvers in OpenFOAM, namely, rhoCentralFOAM and sonicFOAM, are compared in terms of flow separation pattern and separation pattern transitions within the overexpanded SERN. The ability of rhoCentralFOAM and sonicFOAM to accurately predict complex flow states is evaluated. Results indicate that the numerical simulations conducted using rhoCentralFOAM and sonicFOAM successfully capture flow separation, separated shock waves, separated bubbles and shear layers for two types of restricted shock separation patterns at the same nozzle pressure ratio (NPR), demonstrating agreement with experimental results. However, sonicFOAM initiates the transition in the separation pattern 0.0773 NPR earlier than rhoCentralFOAM during the whole separation pattern transition process of the SERN. The transition process in sonicFOAM lasts longer and exhibits a greater variation in NPR. SonicFOAM fails to accurately predict certain aspects, such as the pressure rise after the separation bubble, the reattachment shock wave, and tends to overestimat the length of the separation shock length. Consequently, sonicFOAM cannot be recommended as a suitable solver for accurately capturing the separation pattern of an overexpanded nozzle. 


Main Subjects

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