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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology


Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room: SL 165

Everyone is invited

Unsteady Boundary Layer and Transient Heat Transfer Study for the
Applications in Wave Rotors

Hongwei Li, Ph.D. Candidate, Research Assistant, Combustion &

Propulsion Laboratory, IUPUI

The wave rotors represent a promising technology for use in gas turbine engines. Unlike
conventional combustors that have a liner to protect the pressure vessel, the wave rotor relies on
transient cold and hot flow to control thermal loading. The accurate knowledge of the time-varying
thermal response is thus necessary in the design and transient operation of the wave rotors.
Numerical methods are developed with the capability to predict the transient thermal boundary
layer response for typical unsteady wave rotor channel flow and thermal conditions. Based on the
boundary layer theory, the two-dimensional compressible Reynolds-averaged boundary-layer
equations are transformed into incompressible form through Dorodnitsyn-Howarth transformation
and solved with the similarity transformations. Both laminar and turbulent flow conditions are
considered. The developed methodology and computer codes are widely validated by comparing
with existing transient boundary layer heat transfer studies. Different wave rotor transient heat
transfer phenomena are investigated including the transient thermal boundary layer variation due
to a moving fluid of varying temperature, and the unsteady boundary layer formed in a centered
expansion wave. The derived results regarding the transient time scale, the predicted magnitude
and direction change of the heat transfer rate during the unsteady process provide valuable tools
to improve the wave rotor heat transfer predictions.

About the Speaker.

Hongwei Li is a Ph.D student in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University and a
Research Assistant at the Combustion & Propulsion Lab at IUPUI. He received his bachelor degree
at Chongqing University, China in 1996. He received his Master’s degree at Swiss Federal Institute
of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in 2003. His academic advisors are Dr. Razi Nalim and Dr.
Charles Merkle. The committee members are Dr. Jayathi Murthy and Dr. Siva Krishnan.