Design and CFD optimization of methane regenerative cooled rocket nozzles

Christopher Linn Bradford, University of Texas at El Paso


Liquid rocket engines benefit in life cycle from the active regenerative cooling method which passes the fuel as the coolant through channels surrounding the combustion chamber. These channels are designed and optimized using structural considerations as well as heat transfer theory, then CFD simulations with the software FLUENT are performed for the final analysis. The difficulty in using methane as the fuel/coolant is addressed, and requires the use of the ideal gas numerical model in preliminary CFD simulations. Comparison to real gas numerical models is made, and results also given for one channel design. The techniques utilized herein allow the choice of the "optimal" cooling channel configuration for the cSETR 50lbf engine specifically, but the methods can be used for other configurations.

Subject Area

Engineering|Aerospace engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Bradford, Christopher Linn, "Design and CFD optimization of methane regenerative cooled rocket nozzles" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1498269.