European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Investigation of the ignition of a wall-impinging jet on a hot surface: fuel jet and liquid gas jet


Accidental ignition of liquid fuels is a critical safety and economic concern for the chemical, aerospace, automotive, and petroleum industries. A fundamental understanding of ignition processes is crucial to reduce accidents and exacerbated pollution emissions through safer and more optimized designs. Even though hot surface ignition is a well-recognized hazard, it is only superficially understood, and safety guidelines tend to oversimplify the phenomenon. Hephaestus project is born from the will of two recognized research centers to merge their expertise to address this issue: the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) in Belgium and the Explosion Dynamics Laboratory (EDL) of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA.

Hephaestus aims at improving the knowledge on the ignition processes of a jet impinging a hot surface. A world unique experimental setup will be designed to provide an in-depth optical investigation of the fuel jet ignition. An experimental database will be generated, analyzed, and diffused into the scientific and safety community. The data will be first used to test the existing numerical models. It will be extensively analyzed to detail the different ignition mechanisms. Finally, it will be applied to test engineering models and propose new safety guidelines.

VKI is developing a new laboratory on the use of flammable liquid gas for propulsion. The knowledge acquired during the project's first stage about experimental analysis of ignition mechanisms will be used to support the development of this new leading-edge laboratory. An existing VKI setup will be adapted for ignition characterization by implementing the newly learned experimental technique, and the experimental protocol will be optimized.

Hephaestus project will improve safety via an enhancement of the ignition processes understanding and the diffusion of a fundamental scientific database to be used for future research.


Net EU contribution
€ 266 684,16
Waterloose Steenweg, 72
1640 Sint-Genesius-Rode

See on map


The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Halle-Vilvoorde
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)