# Injector pressure drop in a liquid rocket engine

• Roy S Ramirez
In summary, the pressure differential, dP, in the formula Q = Cd * A * sqrt( 2 * dP / rho), represents the difference between the input and exit pressure of the fluid through the injection plate. This change in pressure can be altered by changing the pressure on the input side, and is determined by the ambient pressure in the exit chamber. The formula takes into account various forms of energy, such as internal potential energy and kinetic energy, and incorporates the discharge coefficient, Cd, for a compressible fluid.
Roy S Ramirez
Hello everybody,

I hope you are doing fine. I'm currently designing an injector for a hydrogen peroxide - ethanol engine, and the following formula is confusing me:
Q = Cd * A * sqrt( 2 * dP / rho); where Cd is the discharge coefficient, A the total area, dP the pressure drop, and rho the fluid's density.
Supposing Cd, A, and rho are fixed once we built the injector, the only way to throttle the engine would be changing delta p (dP). What does this pressure differential represent? The difference between the entry and exit pressure of the fluid through the injection plate as a consequence of sheer, gravitational, viscous, etc forces, OR the difference between the injection pressure (taking into account the pressure drop through the plate) and the design chamber pressure? How would you change dP?
Roy S. Ramirez

Roy S Ramirez said:
Hello everybody,

I hope you are doing fine. I'm currently designing an injector for a hydrogen peroxide - ethanol engine, and the following formula is confusing me:
Q = Cd * A * sqrt( 2 * dP / rho); where Cd is the discharge coefficient, A the total area, dP the pressure drop, and rho the fluid's density.
Supposing Cd, A, and rho are fixed once we built the injector, the only way to throttle the engine would be changing delta p (dP). What does this pressure differential represent? The difference between the entry and exit pressure of the fluid through the injection plate as a consequence of sheer, gravitational, viscous, etc forces, OR the difference between the injection pressure (taking into account the pressure drop through the plate) and the design chamber pressure? How would you change dP?
Roy S. Ramirez
Hi Roy. Welcome to PF!

dP is the pressure drop across the valve or, in the case of your rocket, the injection plate. The exit or discharge pressure is determined by the ambient pressure in the exit chamber. To change dP one would have to change the pressure on the input side.

This is essentially Bernoulli's equation modified for the characteristics of a compressible fluid. Energy is conserved at all points. Energy is in the form of: internal PV energy; internal potential energy due to inter-molecular forces; gravitational potential energy (due to changes in height of the fluid); and kinetic energy of the fluid (which is a function of cross-sectional area, mass/unit volume, and flow rate (volume/unit time). If the flow through the valve is horizontal and the fluid is not compressible, the change in energy due to Δ(PV) is VΔP where ΔP is the pressure difference (intake pressure - exit pressure). That drop in pressure (which is energy/unit volume) must equal the increase in kinetic energy of the fluid per unit volume. But since the fluid is compressible that is where Cd comes into relate actual flow rate to the theoretical flow rate for an non-compressible fluid.

AM

Last edited:
Hi Roy,

I'm not an expert in this field, but from my understanding, the pressure differential (dP) in this equation represents the difference between the injection pressure and the design chamber pressure. This can be changed by adjusting the injection pressure or the design chamber pressure.

To change dP, you could try adjusting the flow rate of the fluid, which would affect the injection pressure. You could also try changing the size or shape of the injection plate to see how it affects the pressure drop. Additionally, altering the design of the chamber or introducing different forces (such as gravity or viscosity) could also impact the pressure differential. It may require some experimentation to find the most effective way to change dP for your specific engine design.

I hope this helps and good luck with your project!

## 1. What is injector pressure drop in a liquid rocket engine?

Injector pressure drop is the difference in pressure between the inlet and outlet of the injector in a liquid rocket engine. It is a key parameter that affects the performance and stability of the engine.

## 2. Why is injector pressure drop important in a liquid rocket engine?

Injector pressure drop can affect the combustion efficiency, mixture ratio, and overall thrust of a liquid rocket engine. It also plays a crucial role in controlling the fuel flow and atomization, which can impact the engine's stability and reliability.

## 3. How is injector pressure drop measured in a liquid rocket engine?

Injector pressure drop is typically measured using pressure sensors installed at the inlet and outlet of the injector. These sensors provide real-time data on the pressure difference, which can be used to monitor and adjust the engine's performance.

## 4. What factors can affect injector pressure drop in a liquid rocket engine?

Injector pressure drop can be influenced by various factors such as the type of propellant, injector design, chamber pressure, and operating conditions. The geometry and size of the injector also play a significant role in determining the pressure drop.

## 5. How is injector pressure drop optimized in a liquid rocket engine?

To optimize injector pressure drop, engineers use computer simulations and experimental testing to design and refine the injector geometry and operating conditions. The goal is to achieve a balance between pressure drop, combustion efficiency, and stability for optimal engine performance.

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