Zhang, Xiaohua (2014-12). Small Engine Flash Vapor JP-8 Fuel Injector Testing, Simulation and Development. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Following U.S. Army's single fuel initiative, Wankel rotary engines used in U.S. Army's shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) need to be retrofitted from running on aviation gasoline (AVGAS) to JP-8. The feasibility of retrofitting the engine with a flash vapor direct fuel injector was investigated. A commercial off-the-shelf direct fuel injector was used in the study. A photo detector measurement tool was developed to measure high frequency (>100 Hz) injection event. A coupled electrical-electomagnetics-fluid-mechanical system was simulated to understand the pintle dynamics during an injection event. Optimal injector power drive was revealed to be a multi-stage current profile. A flash heater was designed and tested to be capable of heating up JP-8 from room temperature to its vaporization temperature (>310F) under one tenth of a second at the required flow rate. An ignition test rig was built to compare ignition behavior between AVGAS and heated JP-8. Test result showed that the 550F pre-heated JP-8 had equal or superior ignition pressure rise / ignition delay time than AVGAS.

publication date

  • December 2014