The following computational study examines the structure of sonic hydrogen jets using inlet conditions similar to those encountered in direct-injection hydrogen engines. Cases utilizing the same mass and momentum flux while varying exit-to-chamber pressure ratios have been investigated in a constant-volume computational domain. Furthermore, subsonic versus sonic structures have been compared using both hydrogen and ethylene fuel jets. Finally, the accuracy of scaling arguments to characterize an underexpanded jet by a subsonic “equivalent jet” has been assessed. It is shown that far downstream of the expansion region, the overall jet structure conforms to expectations for self-similarity in the far-field of subsonic jets. In the near-field, variations in fuel inlet-to-chamber pressure ratios are shown to influence the mixing properties of sonic hydrogen jets. In general, higher pressure ratios result in longer shock barrel length, though numerical resolution requirements increase. While no scaling investigated in this work demonstrated ideal data collapse for penetration rates, the most effective scaling parameter included consideration of inlet-to-chamber density-ratio effects and pressure-ratio effects.
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