4. Air from the engine compressor enters the combustion chamber at a velocity up to 500 feet per second, but because at this velocity the air speed is far too high for combustion, the first thing that the chamber must do is to diffuse it, i.e. decelerate it and raise its static pressure. Since the speed of burning kerosine at normal mixture ratios is only a few feet per second, any fuel lit even in the diffused airstream, which now has a velocity of about 80 feet persecond, would be blown away. A region of low axialvelocity has therefore to be created in the chamber,so that the flame will remain alight throughout therange of engine operating conditions.
|Fig. 4-2 Apportioning the airflow.|
6. Approximately 20 per cent of the air mass flow is taken in by the snout or entry section (fig. 4-2). Immediately downstream of the snout are swirl vanes and a perforated flare, through which air passes into the primary combustion zone. The swirling air induces a flow upstream of the centre of the flame tube and promotes the desired recirculation. The air not picked up by the snout flows into the annular space between the flame tube and the air casing.
7. Through the wall of the flame tube body, adjacent to the combustion zone, are a selected number of secondary holes through which a further 20 per cent of the main flow of air passes into the primary zone. The air from the swirl vanes and that from the secondary air holes interacts and creates a region of low velocity recirculation. This takes the form of a toroidal vortex, similar to a smoke ring, which has the effect of stabilizing and anchoring the flame (fig, 4-3). The recirculating gases hasten the burning of freshly injected fuel droplets by rapidly bringing them to ignition temperature.
|Fig. 4-3 Flame stabilizing and general airflow pattern.|
|Fig. 4-4 Flame tube cooling methods.|
9. The temperature of the gases released by combustion is about 1,800 to 2,000 deg. C., which is far too hot for entry to the nozzle guide vanes of the turbine. The air not used for combustion, which amounts to about 60 per cent of the total airflow, is therefore introduced progressively into the flame tube. Approximately a third of this is used to lower the gas temperature in the dilution zone before it enters the turbine and the remainder is used for cooling the walls of the flame tube. This is achieved by a film of cooling air flowing along the inside surface of the flame tube wall, insulating it from the hot combustion gases (fig. 4-4). A recent development allows cooling air to enter a network of passages within the flame tube wall before exiting to form an insulating film of air, this can reduce the required wall cooling airflow by up to 50 per cent. Combustion should be completed before the dilution air enters the flame tube, otherwise the incoming air will cool the flame and incomplete combustion will result.
10. An electric spark from an igniter plug (Part 11) initiates combustion and the flame is then selfsustained.
11. The design of a combustion chamber and the method of adding the fuel may vary considerably, but the airflow distribution used to effect and maintain combustion is always very similar to that described.