Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Numerical Simulation of Free Surface Collapse in Propellant Tank



In liquid propellant rocket the propellant tank is partly filled with liquid propellant, which represents a kind of free surface flow. During the transportation process of the liquid propellant the gas suction may lead to danger for the rocket engine. Moreover the collapse of the free surface between the gas and liquid is forbidden from the rocket’s safety view. Therefore anti-collapse device design is necessary for the liquid propellant tank. In this paper the free-surface fluid flow in the propellant was simulated by using a volume of fluid (VOF) model with an unsplit Lagrangian M V F the free surface was captured by the numerical simulation. The simulation was conducted on a prototype tank including the influences of overweight, weightlessness and tank sloshing. After simulation the characteristics of the flow field were shown when the free surface collapses. Then the reasons of the collapse of the free surface were discussed, which can provide instructions to the design of the anti-collapse devices for propellant tank.


propellant tank; free-surface flow; collapse; volume of fluidText

Full Text: