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Thrust Measurements of Different Gases in a Micro Nozzle

[+] Author Affiliations
John Lee, Matthew G. McMullen, Adam Huang

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Paper No. IMECE2010-40009, pp. 867-876; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Micro and Nano Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4447-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


It is sought to determine the suitability of fluorine based gases, i.e. 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a), for use in a micronozzle. Several experimental thrust measurements have already been made for micronozzles using air or nitrogen. However, air and nitrogen are too prohibitive in terms of transportation in nano/pico satellites. Fluorine based gases, although not as efficient, offer a huge payoff in terms of transportability. The efficiency of R-134a was found to be about 27% lower than that of nitrogen, while being multitudes better in terms of transportability. Unsteady flow was encountered for air and nitrogen, while completely unexpected behavior was exhibited by R-134a.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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