Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Joseph Majdalani

Committee Members

Basil N. Antar, Bruce W. Bomar, Boris A. Kupershmidt, Roy J. Schulz


This dissertation is concerned with the mathematical modeling of the flow in a porous cylinder with a focus on applications to solid rocket motors. After discussing the historical development and major contributions to the understanding of wall injected flows, we present an inviscid rotational model for solid and hybrid rockets with arbitrary headwall injection. Then, we address the problem of pressure integration and find that for a given divergence free velocity field, unless the vorticity transport equation is identically satisfied, one cannot find an analytic expression for the pressure by direct integration of the Navier-Stokes equations. This is followed by the application of a variational procedure to seek novel solutions with varying levels of kinetic energies. These are found to cover a wide spectrum of admissible motions ranging from purely irrotational to highly rotational fields. Subsequently, a second law analysis as well as an extension of Kelvin's energy theorem to open boundaries are presented to verify and corroborate the variational model. Finally, the focus is shifted to address the problem of laminar viscous flow in a porous cylinder with regressing walls. This is tackled using two different analytical techniques, namely, perturbation and decomposition. Comparisons with numerical Runge--Kutta solutions are also provided for a variety of wall Reynolds numbers and wall regression speeds.

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