The objective of the innovative high-temperature fuel nozzle program was to design, fabricate, and test propulsion engine fuel nozzles capable of performance despite extreme fuel and air inlet temperatures. Although a variety of both passive and active methods for reducing fuel wetted-surface temperatures were studied, simple thermal barriers were found to offer the best combination of operability, cycle flexibility, and performance. A separate nozzle material study examined several nonmetallics and coating schemes for evidence of passivating or catalytic tendencies. Two pilotless airblast nozzles were developed by employing finite-element modeling to optimize thermal barriers in the stem and tip. Operability of these prototypes was compared to a current state-of-the art piloted, prefliming airblast nozzle, both on the spray bench and through testing in a can-type combustor. The three nozzles were then equipped with internal thermocouples and operated at 1600°F air inlet temperature while injecting marine diesel fuel heated to 350°F. Measured and predicted internal temperatures as a function of fuel flow rate were compared. Results show that the thermal barrier systems dramatically reduced wetted-surface temperatures and the potential for coke fouling, even in an extreme environment.

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