Gas Dynamics Lab
A recently commissioned area, the Gas Dynamics laboratory is designed to make full use of the group's 8cu.m capacity 1000psi air tanks, adjacent to it, to create air flows at transonic velocities with durations exceeding 1 minute.
The laboratory is 15.3m long by 5.6 wide and 3 high and incorporates direct access to the air tanks via 50 and 75mm outlets. One outlet is dedicated to a cascade tunnel which can provide flows at Mach 1.4 or above to a working section inlet 50mm wide by 300 high to which models are attached for at least one minute. Currently used models are a high Mach version of the plate in the Charles Wilson Tunnel, using similar techniques for measurements, and a cascade of turbine blades where Schlieren flow visualisation is employed.
A second outlet feeds a closed loop transonic induction wind tunnel with a 25.4mm wide test section, that can be used for calibrating probes across the full transonic range. This tunnel is capable of reaching Mach 1.8 and has good quality glass side walls for schlieren.
A third outlet feeds to the main thermodynamics lab combustion and acoustics test cells and a fourth is used for project work and external contracts. A local company makes extensive use of the facilities performing their own tests to their products on this connection and it has also been used for final year project work in conjunction with a manufacturer of combustion chambers. The inclusion of flame proof exhausts in the laboratory makes it suitable for small scale combustion tests.
Many of the tests in the laboratory produce high levels of sound (exceeding 130dB) and an ante chamber has been included for operators where they can work without requiring ear defenders. The walls of the room are suitably constructed to absorb sound energy to ensure adjacent laboratories are safe.