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Nozzles for Aerodynamic Particle Acceleration

Problem: Cold Jet, Inc. needed to create a capability to analyze and improve the design of nozzles for aerodynamic particle acceleration for dry-ice (CO2) pellet blast surface cleaning and preparation equipment. Also needed was a study of the effectiveness of noise reduction and frost buildup reduction concepts on the pellet blast system.

Solution: Wright Technology Network (WTN) facilitated Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/VA) development of computational analysis methods to simulate the motion of carbon dioxide pellets under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). They will share new analysis methods and test data for application to both military and commercial needs.

The dry-ice pellet blast process is environmentally safe and materials are cleaned in situ without masking or disassembly.

The CRADA will develop computational analysis methods to simulate the motion of the pellets as they accelerate in the high speed air jet of the applicator nozzle and strike the cleaned surface. The new analysis methods will develop optimized nozzle hardware that will maximize the efficiency of the Cold Jet cleaning process. Another goal is to characterize the noise produced by the nozzle jet and introduce jet noise reduction technology into the nozzle design.

Benefits:

  • Cold Jet will benefit by optimizing its CO2 pellet blasting process and equipment for a variety of industrial applications.
  • Long term benefits to AFRL/VA are possible by making CO2 pellet blasting process effective for aircraft maintenance, potentially replacing environmentally hazardous cleaning processes.

Current Status:

  • Substantial progress on the computational analysis was made by AFRL/VA.
  • The CRADA is extended to permit additional collaboration on the nozzle analyses.
  • The CRADA was completed in December 1998.
If you have any questions about this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or are interested in getting more information about technology transfer and CRADA projects, please contact Jim Singer at Wright Technology Network (937) 253-0217 or CRADA@wtn.org

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