Generalized Chapman-Enskog continuum breakdown parameters for chemically reacting flows

Krishnan Swaminathan-Gopalan, Sharanya Subramaniam, Kelly A. Stephani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The generalized Chapman-Enskog (GCE) method for rapid and slow thermochemical processes is employed to formulate a set of continuum breakdown parameters for chemically reacting flows. These GCE breakdown parameters are derived for one-temperature, two-temperature, and three-temperature models, through classification of the relevant thermochemical time scales relative to fast elastic collisional processes and slow flow processes associated with changes in macroscopic observables. Continuum breakdown mechanisms owing to multicomponent diffusion, thermal diffusion, normal and shear stresses, Fourier-type heat fluxes based on translational, rotational, and vibrational temperatures, bulk viscosity, and relaxation pressure are presented for chemically reacting flows. The GCE breakdown parameters, derived from rigorous kinetic theory, capture the proper physical mechanism leading to continuum breakdown. These breakdown parameters are used to analyze continuum breakdown in a Mach 24 reacting air flow over a sphere and continuum breakdown is observed in the shock and close to the sphere surface. The flow field near the sphere surface is found to be characterized by sharp species concentration gradients due to gas-phase and surface reactions. Chemical reactions thus lead indirectly to the distortion of the velocity distribution function (VDF), providing a pathway to continuum breakdown that is captured by the GCE specieswise diffusion breakdown parameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083402
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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