General information and objectives in research and teaching
The institute Reactive Flows and Diagnostics is embedded in the department of mechanical engineering. It is part of the excellence cluster Smart Interfaces and was founded in June 2008. It is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The main objective of the institute is the representation of chemically reactive flows concerning questions of energy and process engineering in research and teaching at the department of mechanical engineering of the Darmstadt University of Technology.
Chemically reactive flows play a major role in many technical processes. Examples in energy engineering are combustion processes in technical firing, gas turbines an internal combustion engines. Well known examples in process engineering are separation or reaction processes. Regarding these processes, most often turbulent flows appear, whereas in this context complex chemical reactions take place, which partly involve hundreds of elementary reactions. As in many cases physical transport processes and chemical reactions take place on the same length and time scales, generally a strong coupling between each other exists. Furthermore, the flows can be multiphase and/or appear near walls. Consequently, at phase interfaces exchange processes of energy, matter and momentum take place.
Generally, a technical improvement of chemically reactive flows requires a better understanding of the underlying physical and chemical processes. Today, such an understanding is obtained by analytical, numerical and experimental methods. The expertise of the institute Reactive Flows and Diagostics is mainly on the experimental field. However, by the embedment into the excellence cluster Smart Interfaces it is ensured that the topics of research are also investigated in the context of analytical and numerical methods.
The objective of the experimental studies of reactive flows is the precise determination of the relevant physical and chemical parameters in order to draw conclusions about the underlying partly coupled processes. Based on these measurements, models for a mathematical description of reactive flows are derived or numerical simulations are validated. In this context, particularly reactive flows near walls are investigated.
For these experimental studies, laser light is employed as measuring tool. Contrary to conventional sensors, light does not disturb the investigated process. The high coherence of laser radiation permits a high spatial resolution, whereas the availability of ultra-short laser pulses permits an extremely high spatial resolution enabling snap-shots of velocity as well as temperature and concentration fields.
The objective of research at the institute Reactive Flows and Diagnostics is the development of new diagnostic techniques and the extension of their applicability to more challenging test cases as well as the procurance of new knowledge about chemical reactive flows. With regard to teaching, the bachelor course “Measurement Technology in Mechanical Engineering” imparts the basic knowledge of this area. The master course “Introduction into quantum mechanics and spectroscopy”, which is offered during the summer term enables students introduction to this topic. The application of laser radiation as measuring tool is imparted during the winter term by the lecture “Laser measurement technology”.