Sensitivity of water condensation in a supersonic plume to the nucleation rate

Jiaqiang Zhong, Michael I. Zeifman, Deborah A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method has recently been developed to simulate homogeneous water condensation in a free expansion rocket plume. A nucleation rate, based on the classical nucleation theory (CNT), was used in the DSMC simulation to predict initial nuclei in the condensation region. However, recent experimental research suggests that the CNT nucleation rate should be corrected and the magnitude of the correction is a function of the vapor temperature. Because the nucleation rate is one of the most important factors that impacts the accuracy of the numerical simulation results for a condensation plume, the impact is investigated of the corrected nucleation rate on cluster growth processes and flow macroparameters in an expanding flow using the DSMC method to model both the gas and condensate flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of thermophysics and heat transfer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Space and Planetary Science


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