Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Interpretation of Experimental Data from Rapid Compression Machines without Creviced Pistons

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-2014


Over the last two decades, experimental data of the nature of species evolution profiles and ignition delays from rapid compression machines (RCMs) has been used to develop and validate chemical kinetic mechanisms at low-to-intermediate temperatures and elevated pressures. A significant portion of this overall dataset is from RCMs that had not employed a creviced piston to contain the roll-up vortex. The detrimental influence of the roll-up vortex and the thermokinetic interactions due to the resulting temperature non-homogeneity during the negative temperature coefficient (ntc) regime have been documented in the literature. However, the adequacy of the homogeneous modeling of RCMs without creviced pistons during reactive conditions has not been investigated. In this work, computational fluid dynamics simulations of an RCM without a creviced piston are conducted for autoignition of n-heptane over the entire ntc regime over a range compressed pressures from 5 to 18 bar. The results from the CFD simulations highlight the non-homogeneity of autoignition and reveal significant quantitative discrepancy in comparison to homogeneous modeling, particularly for the hot ignition delay in the ntc regime. Specifically, the roll-up vortex induced temperature non-homogeneity leads to diminution of the ntc behavior. The experimental data from RCMs without creviced piston needs to be taken with caution for quantitative validation and refinement of kinetic mechanism, particularly at conditions when ntc behavior is highly pronounced.

Publication Title

Combustion and Flame





First Page


Last Page