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A thorough understanding of mixing characteristics of high speed

jet with the surrounding is indispensable for the design of many devices using
jets, such as air breathing engines, rockets nozzles, welding torches, nozzles
for cutting applications and so on. Jet control plays an important role in fire
extinguishing techniques too. In recent years, there has been considerable
interest in the studies of jet control methods due to their potential use in
military aircraft.
The most common way of defining a free jet is a pressure driven
stream of fluid coming out of an orifice or nozzle to a quiescent ambience. Jet
can also be defined as a free shear layer driven by momentum introduced at
the nozzle exit, exhibiting the characteristics that, the ratio of axial distance to
radial distance will be constant which is found to be about 8 for jet Mach
numbers less than 0.2. The value of this ratio decreases with increase of jet
Mach number.
Also, the jet characteristics are strongly influenced by the shape of
the nozzle from which the jet exits, thickness of the exit lip, the region into
which the jet enters, the initial velocity profile of the jet at the nozzle exit, the
orientation of the jet with respect to the gravity vector, and even the external
shape of the nozzle. Due to the large velocity difference between the jet and
the ambient fluid, a thin shear layer is created at the jet periphery and it is

highly unstable. The shear layer is subjected to flow instabilities that

eventually lead to the generation vortices and the associated turbulent
fluctuations as the shear layer moves downstream. This highly turbulent shear
flow entrains ambient fluid into the jet and enhances the flow mixing.
Consequently, the shear layer and the jet spread laterally outward and the jet
velocity decreases downstream. Near the nozzle exit and along the central
portion of the jet, a region with an almost uniform mean velocity is called the
potential core. Because of the spreading of the shear layer, the potential core
eventually disappears when shear layers from all sides merge. The
entrainment and mixing process continues beyond the potential core region
such that, the velocity distribution eventually relaxes to a bell-shaped profile.
The jet boundary line can be interpreted as the outmost location where the
velocity approaches to zero.

The flow regimes in the subsonic jet are classified into three zones,

namely the potential core region, transition region and fully developed region,
as seen in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1 Schematic of characteristic zones of subsonic jet


Potential Core Region

This region is termed as the initial region or potential core region.

In this region, the velocity is approximately equal to the nozzle exit velocity
and the velocity is almost uniform. The cross-sectional area of the potential
core region is maximum at the (equal to) nozzle exit area and gets converged
to a point downstream of the exit, on the centerline as shown in Figure 1.2.
Potential core region extends about 5 times the nozzle exit diameter (D)
downstream of the nozzle exit for subsonic jets. This is because, the mixing
initiated at the jet boundary has not yet permeated into the entire flow field,
thus leaving a region that is characterized by a constant axial velocity.

Figure 1.2 Schematic diagram of the core region


Transition Region
This is the region where the centerline velocity begins to decay.

This characteristic decay zone extends from about 5D to 10D downstream of

nozzle exit. As a result, the velocity difference between the ambient fluid and
the high-speed core of the jet decreases and attenuates the shear that supports
the vortical rings in the jet and thus the velocity profiles become smoother

with jet propagation. The transition region is characterized by a growth of

three-dimensional flow due to instability in the core of the vortex rings. The
merging of these distorted vortices produces large eddies which can remain
coherent around the potential core region of the jet.

Fully Developed Region

Fully developed region is the region after the transition region in

the jet flow field where the velocity profiles become similar in appearance.
The third region is termed the region of established flow for fully developed
region. This region begins at the end of characteristic decay and is
characterized by some gradual dissipation of the jet centerline velocity.
Thus, a jet consists of three main regions of flow namely the
potential core region, transition region and fully developed region. The
mixing up of the jet with the entrained fluid beyond the potential core region
leads to widening of the cross-section and decrease of velocity along the jet
centerline, keeping momentum conserved.

In general, jets can be classified into two types namely

compressible jet and incompressible jets. Incompressible jets are those with
nozzle exit Mach number less than 0.3. Compressible jets are those with
nozzle exit Mach number more than 0.3. Compressible jets may further be
classified into subsonic, sonic and supersonic jets. All subsonic jets are
correctly expanded; with the nozzle exit pressure equal to ambient pressure.
A schematic diagram of classification of the jet is shown in the Figure 1.3.

Classification of Jets

Incompressible jets
0 < M < 0.3

Compressible jets
M >= 0.3



Correctly expanded
Pe = Pb

Pe < Pb


Pe > Pb

Correctly expanded
Pe = Pb

Pe > Pb

Figure 1.3 Classification of jets


Subsonic and Sonic Jets

Sonic jets may be correctly expanded with nozzle exit pressure

equal to the ambient pressure and underexpanded with the exit pressure
greater than the ambient pressure. The expansion process continues outside
the nozzle till it becomes equal to the ambient pressure through expansion
fans. The underexpansion level starts when the Nozzle Pressure Ratio (NPR)
is greater than 1.89. When the NPR is < 1.89, the flow is said to be correctly
expanded jet where the nozzle exit pressure is equal to the ambient pressure.
The jet is said to be moderately underexpanded (refer Figure 1.5a) when the
NPR is less than 3.78 and highly underexpanded (refer Figure 1.5b) jet if the
NPR is greater than 3.78. When the flow emerges from the nozzle exit, it
passes through an expansion fan expanding to the ambient pressure at the jet
boundary. Since there is a constant pressure at the jet boundary, it tends to

bend towards the axis of the jet. The expansion fans formed at the nozzle lip
travels upto the jet boundary and reflected as compression waves from the jet
boundary. As the flow changes the direction along the jet boundary, the
compression waves are sent back into the flow. These waves coalesce to form
intercepting shocks in the interior of the jet. The intercepting shocks in turn
become a curved shock normal to the flow referred as Mach disc. The
strength and thickness of the disc is influenced by the level of NPR and the
nozzle exit Mach number. The flow before the disc is still supersonic but the
Mach number will be less than that in the core. The Mach disc diameter, Dmd
can be determined for the smooth convergent nozzle by the following
empirical relationship (Addy 1981):




where, Dn is the nozzle exit diameter, Po and Pb are the stagnation pressure
and the back pressure, respectively. Downstream of the Mach disc, the flow
becomes subsonic. The flow gets momentum through exchange of momentum
in the nearby region which is still supersonic. The distance between the
nozzle exit to a point where the first kink occurs in the barrel shock is termed
as shock-cell. The shock-cell structure of the sonic underexpanded jet is
shown in the Figure 1.5.

Supersonic Jets
Supersonic jets can be classified into correctly expanded,

underexpanded and overexpanded. Supersonic jets, irrespective of the level of

expansion are wave dominated. Potential core length in supersonic jet flow is
the axial distance upto which the shock wave prevails or the distance from the
nozzle exit to a point farthest downstream where the flow Mach number
becomes unity (Shirie and Seubold 1967).

Overexpanded Jets
If the pressure in the ambient medium to which it is discharging is

greater than the nozzle exit pressure, the jet is said to be overexpanded. In
this, oblique shock waves are formed at the edge of the nozzle exit. These
oblique shocks will be reflected as expansion waves from the boundary of the
jet. Figure 1.4 schematically shows the waves prevailing in the overexpanded
jet. Due to the waves, a periodic shock cell structure is generated in the jet
and the wavelength of these periodic structures is found to increase with
Mach number. For an overexpanded jet, nozzle exit pressure, Pe is lower than
the ambient pressure, Pa. This causes an oblique shock (A) to form at the
nozzle exit plane. To reach equilibrium with the ambient pressure, the exhaust
gas undergoes compression through the oblique shock waves standing at the
exit plane. Flow that has passed through the shock waves will be turned
toward the centerline (2). At the same time, the oblique shock wave, directed
toward the centerline of the nozzle, can not penetrate the centre plane as a
linear wave front, since it encounters the wave from the opposite lip of the
nozzle. On passing through the shock from the opposite direction, it gets
deflected as shown in (B) in the figure. The gas flow goes through these
reflected shocks and is further compressed, but the flow is now turned parallel
(3) to the centerline. This causes the pressure of the exhaust gases to increase
above the ambient pressure. Deflected shock wave now hits the free boundary
called a contact discontinuity (or the boundary where outer edge of the gas
flow meets the free stream air).
Pressure should be the same across the boundary and is the
direction of the flow. Since the jet flow is at a higher pressure than the
ambient pressure, the pressure must reduce. Since the jet is at a higher
pressure than ambient pressure, the pressure must reduce. Thus at the
reflected shock wave contact discontinuity intersection, the expansion waves
of the Prandtl-Meyer type are generated (C) to reduce the pressure come to an
equilibrium with the ambient pressure. These expansion waves turn the flow

away from the centerline (4). The expansion waves in turn deflect from the
centre plane toward the contact discontinuity (D).The gas flow passing
through the deflected expansion waves is now turned back parallel to
centerline but undergoes a further reduction of pressure. The deflected
expansion waves now meet the contact discontinuity and reflect from the
contact discontinuity toward the centerline as expansion waves (E). This
allows the gas flow to pass through the compressions waves and increase its
pressure to ambient pressure, but passage through the compression waves
turns the flow back toward the centerline (6). The compression waves now
deflect from the centerline as compression waves (F), further increasing the
pressure above ambient, but turn the flow parallel to the nozzle centerline (7).
The flow process is now back to when the flow had just passed through the
reflected shock wave (B), i.e., the flow pressure is above the ambient pressure
and the flow is parallel to centerline (3). This process of expansion and
compression wave formation continues until the pressure of the jet field is
same is as the ambient pressure and the flow is parallel to the centerline of the
nozzle. This expansion and compression waves which interact with each
other, lead to the diamond patterns termed as shock- cells.

Figure 1.4 Schematic of the shock-cell structure of overexpanded jet

Correctly Expanded Jets

A jet is said to be correctly expanded, when the nozzle exit pressure

is equal to the ambient pressure. This jet is also wave dominated as an

imperfectly expanded jet, unlike what we think that, there will not be any
waves. The reason for this is that, as the jet is issuing from the confined area

to an infinite area, jet tries to expand through expansion waves and after that
gets compressed through compression waves (the reflected waves from the jet
boundary), which results in a periodic wave structure.

Underexpanded Jets
A jet is said to be underexpanded, when the nozzle exit pressure is

higher than the ambient pressure. Since the nozzle exit pressure is higher than
the back ambient pressure, wedge shaped expansion waves occur at the edge
of the nozzle. These waves cross one another and are reflected from the
boundaries of the jet flow field as compression waves. The compression
waves again cross one another and are reflected at the boundary of the jet as
expansion waves resulting in formation of Mach disc. Figure 1.5 shows a
sketch of an underexpanded jet. Once the Mach disk forms the jet is said to be
highly underexpanded (Donaldson and Snedekar 1971). The Mach disk is a
slightly curved shock that is normal to the flow at the jet axis (Crist et al

(a) Moderately underexpanded jet

(b) Highly underexpanded jet

Figure 1.5 Schematic of the shock-cell structure of underexpanded jet


Further increase in nozzle pressure ratio strengthens the Mach disc.

Study of underexpanded jet involves calculation of jet boundary, intercepting
shock, position of the first normal shock, and the cell length of repeating
shock-cell structures. The downstream location of the Mach disk depends
essentially on the static pressure ratio and the exit Mach number. The Mach
disk location is insensitive to the ratio of the specific heats, condensation, and
solid boundary geometry at the nozzle lip. The ratio of the Mach disk
diameter to the Mach disk distance from the nozzle exit is approximately a
constant at higher pressure ratio (Crist et al 1966 and Davidor and Penner


Two methods namely, active control and passive control are used

for jet control. In the active control method, an additional source of energy is
required to activate the control. Whereas, in the passive control techniques,
modification of nozzle exit geometry or introducing small protrusion in the
form of tab are used as the control devices, without the need for an additional
source of energy.

Active Control of Jet

Many active jet control methods use energized actuators to

dynamically manipulate flow phenomena based on open- or closed-loop

algorithms. Pulsed jets, piezoelectric actuators, micro jets and oscillating jets
are among the most effective controls for active mixing enhancement. The
design of an active flow control system requires knowledge of flow
phenomenon and selection of appropriate actuators, sensors, and a control
algorithm. The role of an actuator is to inject perturbations at a prescribed
frequency into the flow at locations where the flow is most receptive to these
inputs. The actuator leverages or disrupts the flow to bring about a desired


effect. For example, the conventional excitation methods have relied on

exciting instability modes (refer Figure 1.2) with their most amplified
frequency band to bring about jet mixing enhancement. For jet excitation, the
conventional philosophy has been to energize the large scale coherent
structures or bring about vortex interactions that result in the engulfment of
surrounding fluid (entrainment), resulting in mixing enhancement.

Passive Control of Jet

Passive control techniques are used mainly to create instability in

the shear layer by disturbing boundary layer at the nozzle exit in the form of
grooves along the circumference at the nozzle exit, tab of different
configurations namely rectangular, triangular and diamond. The advantage of
this method is that no external power is required. The tabs placed at the
nozzle exit create streamwise vortices which increase the mixing. Though the
tabs are susceptible for thermal erosion, it can be prevented by proper
selection of material to withstand the corrosion.



Infra-Red Signature Reduction

A strong jet plume, coming out of the engine exhaust of an aircraft

having more infra-red signature will be clearly sensed by sophisticated radar

system of another aircraft. Hence, survivability of an aircraft or missile
depends on the exhaust gas infra-red signature. This signature can be reduced
by mixing hot gas of high momentum with cold air having low momentum.
This mixing results in reduction of temperature in the jet field near to the
nozzle. This can be employed in turbofan engines having high bypass ratio.
The other way of minimizing the infra-red signature is by creating instability
at the nozzle exit with the help of vortex generators in the form of tabs. These


tabs shed streamwise vortices at the nozzle exit and these vortices are
effectively involved in distorting the jet structure.

Jet Noise Reduction

Since high speed jets produces shock associated noise called

screech noise creating disturbance during takeoff to the people who are
residing very near to the airport. It may even cause danger to the hearing
capacity. And also jet noise is even capable of making damage to the tail
surfaces of fighter aircrafts at supersonic Mach numbers.
The jet noise can be reduced by increasing the mixing of ambient
air into the jet which results in reduction of potential core region and increase
of velocity decay. Since acoustic power of the jet is directly proportional to
the eighth power of exist velocity, the reduction in velocity in the jet flow
files drastically reduces the sound associated with the jet coming out an
engine of a supersonic aircraft.

Combustion System

Combustion efficiency depends on the effective mixing of air and

fuel in the combustion chamber of gas turbine engines and Internal
Combustion engines. Mixing can be enhanced by proper design of injection
nozzle controlling the fuel jet in the combustion chamber. In addition, proper
mixing may even reduce the ignition delay and lead to better atomization of
the fuel into fine droplets.


Base Heat Reduction of Launch Vehicles

When the high temperature plume comes out of engine nozzle exit,

the exhaust jet gets attracted towards the base region when the base pressure


is at low sub atmospheric level causing enormous amount of heat transferred

to the base of the launch vehicles. As the electronic devices are usually
mounted inside the rocket shell, they get affected by the heat transfer from the
exhaust and the vehicles structures also get damaged. So, it is indispensable
that, the temperature of the exhaust plume is reduced to minimize the base
heating. This can be achieved by increasing the mixing rate of ambient air in
to the jet core.


The present investigations aims at evaluating the mixing

characteristics of high-speed jet controls of subsonic and supersonic jets with

the help of tabs of rectangular, arc-in and arc-out configurations respectively.
This dissertation explores the efficacy of semicircular arc tab as a
passive controlling device for the subsonic, sonic and supersonic jet and the
performance of the arc tab was compared with rectangular tab at the nozzle
exit and the plain (uncontorlled or un-tabbed) jet.
The high speed jet control includes (i) passive control devices,
(ii) study of the effect of tab lengths on centerline Mach decay, Mach number
profile and iso-contours for the subsonic and sonic correctly expanded and
underexpanded levels for three different tab configurations namely,
rectangular, arc-in and arc-out at three different blockage levels, (iii) study of
the effect of tab lengths on centerline pressure decay, iso-baric contours and
shock-cell structure for sonic underexpanded levels for three different tab
configurations namely rectangular, arc-in and arc-out at three different
blockage levels, (iv) study of the effect of width of the arc-in tab on centerline
Mach, Mach number profile, iso-Mach contours for the subsonic and sonic
correctly expanded jets, (v) study of centerline pressure decay, iso-baric
contours and shock-cell structure for sonic underexpanded levels at three
different blockage levels, (vi) study of the effect of blockage of the tab on
centerline pitot pressure decay of supersonic jet at underexpanded and


overexpanded conditions and (vii) study of the effect of tab on shock-cell

structure of supersonic jet at underexpanded and overexpanded conditions.


Chapter 1 focuses on introduction and objective of the high speed

jet control.
Chapter 2 focuses on the detailed literature survey for subsonic,
sonic and supersonic jet control techniques.
Chapter 3 describes the development of jet control mechanism, the
nozzle geometries, types of tabs used to control the jet and their
configurations and dimension, probe schematics. Materials used to fabricate
the nozzle and the tabs were also discussed in this chapter and this chapter
also depicts on the experimental work. The work details the nature of the high
speed jet control with three types of tabs namely rectangular tab, arc-in tabs,
and arc-out tabs. Centerline decay, capture of potential core region, and Mach
profile in XY - plane and XZ - plane were discussed in this chapter. These
results were compared with experimental results of the plain jet.
Chapter 4 presents the results and discussion of the various
experiments conducted in the research work. Centerline Mach decay, capture
of potential core region, and Mach profile in XY plane and XZ - plane were
discussed in this chapter. For subsonic and sonic correctly expanded
conditions and pitot profiles, iso-baric contours, centerline pitot pressure
decay and shock-cell structure of sonic underexpanded jets and supersonic
overexpanded and underexpanded jet were discussed. These results were
compared with experimental results of the plain jet.
Chapter 5 presents the conclusions derived from the analysis of the
results of present work and scope for the future work.