The purge layer of a semi-valveless pulse detonation cycle (PDC) needs to be minimized for operating at a gas-dynamic upper frequency limit. Therefore, it is essential to better understand the process of burned gas backflow for minimizing the purge layer thickness. The flow field of the semi-valveless PDC was visualized to illustrate the movement of burned gas. A combustor of length of 95 mm with a 10-mm-square cross section was used. Supercritical ethylene and oxygen gas were used as fuel and oxidizer, respectively, and the operation frequency was 604 Hz. The unsteady refilling process of the detonable mixture was modeled by an isentropic flow. In addition, the detailed burned gas blowdown process with deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) and the backflow were captured. It was shown that the retonation wave generated by the DDT process was the primary trigger of the burned gas backflow. When the duration required for the DDT process was sufficiently shorter than that of the burned gas blowdown process, it was found the latter could be reproduced with approximately 90% accuracy by one-dimensional numerical analysis without the DDT process.
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