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Rahul PS, Raghavendran R, Vishweshvar V, Nadaraja pillai S
School Of Mechanical Engineering, SASTRA University, ThirumalaiSamudram, Thanjavur-613401, INDIA,
Email id:,


Research is being undertaken in many parts of globe on improving the efficiency of scramjet
engines in hypersonic vehicle applications. The key area focuses on improvised fuel injection
and the subsequent mixing. As per studies, the heat released by supersonic combustor largely
depends on effectiveness of fuel injection system. The goals addressed in this study are reducing
the residence time, minimization of total pressure loss, enhancement of turbulence in combustor
air flow. One of the promising solutions is the use of cantilevered ramp injector. By virtue of its
design it induces contiguous shock waves which increase the mixing effectiveness leading to
increase in combustion efficiency. When compared to compression ramp, it provides better fuel
penetration at supersonic flows. Strong vortices are produced downstream of the injector
enhancing the mixing process. However there occurs a need to balance the mixing efficiency
with the effects of drag force produced in combustor. This is because maximum mixing
efficiency and minimum drag force do not occur simultaneously. A parallel study indicates that
use of expansion ramps is more effective in improving the combustion efficiency. This is
because expansion ramps provide mixing at smaller scales leading to effective mixing of air and
fuel. The maximum combustion efficiency was obtained at smaller lengths compared to
compression ramps. Thus, it reduces combustor length and decreases the combustor weight.
However this arrangement limits the fuel penetration into the combustor. These methods
improve the combustion efficiency significantly leading to better stability of combustion in
scramjet engines. There exists a huge potential for active research and development in design
and implementation of fuel injectors of scramjet engines.

Scramjet, Fuel injection, Cantilevered ramp injector, Expansion ramp injector

The Supersonic Combustion Ramjet (SCRAMJET) engine has been recognized as the most
promising air breathing propulsion system for the hypersonic flight (Mach number above 5).
Combustor is one of the critical components of scramjet engine and presents the most formidable
problems. The complex phenomenon of supersonic combustion involves turbulence mixing,
shock interactions and heat release in super sonic flows. The flow field within the combustor of
scramjet engine is very complex and poses a considerable challenge in design and development
of a supersonic combustor with an optimized geometry. Enhancing the mixing, and thus reducing
the combustor length, is an important aspect in designing scramjet engines. Such combustor shall
promote sufficient mixing of the fuel and air so that the desired chemical reaction and thus heat
release can occur within the residence time of the fuel-air mixture. Fuel injectors play an
imminent role to overcome the afore said problems and to accomplish the goal. Hence thorough
knowledge in fuel injection techniques and improvisation of them are important. Research has
been undertaken in this sector and many new techniques of injection have been developed.
Cantilever ramp injectors and expansion ramp injectors are two techniques that are to be brought
to the spotlight. These two techniques proves to be promising solutions for the before discussed



From the discussion made above, we get to know about the problems faced in the scramjet engine
combustors and the importance of efficient fuel injection techniques to be adopted. Both cantilever ramp
injector and expansion ramp injector has its own advantages and disadvantages. Further studies in these
techniques are to be done to eliminate the disadvantages and to make these methods much more efficient.

1.] B Parent, and J P Sislian. Turbulent Hypervelocity Fuel/Air Mixing by
Cantilevered Ramp Injectors. AIAA20011888, 2001.
2.] Recent Advances in Scramjet Fuel Injection A Review
K.M.Pandey, Member IACSIT and T.Sivasakthivel, International Journal of Chemical
Engineering and Applications, Vol. 1, No. 4, December 2010
ISSN: 2010-0221
3.] SCRAMJET COMBUSTOR DEVELOPMENT Dr. Satish Kumar & Team* Head, Hypersonic
Propulsion Division & Dy. Project Director, HSTDV,DRDL, Hyderabad