Droplet dynamics and size characterization of high-velocity airblast atomization
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Airblast atomizers are especially useful and commonplace in liquid fuel combustion applications. However, the spray formation processes, the droplet dynamics and the final drop size distributions are still not sufficiently understood due to the coupled gas-liquid interactions and turbulence generation. Therefore, empirical and semi-empirical approaches are typically used to estimate the global spray parameters. To develop a physical understanding of the spray evolution, a plain-jet airblast atomizer was investigated in an atmospheric spray rig using the Phase-Doppler technique. The simultaneous drop size and axial and radial velocity components were measured on radial traverses across the spray at various axial distances from the nozzle for a range of atomizing pressures. The droplet turbulent and mean kinetic energies were found to be proportional to the atomizing pressure. Hence, the scatter of the radial motion of the droplets increased with the atomizing pressure. A droplet stability analysis was performed to locate the regions characterized by ongoing secondary atomization. The volume-to-surface diameter, D32, of the fully developed spray was compared with estimates provided by five published formulae. The role of liquid viscosity, hence the Ohnesorge number, was found to be negligible in the investigated regime. Three commonly used size distribution functions were fitted to the measured data to analyze their dependence on the atomizing pressure. The Gamma distribution function was found to give the best approximation to the atomization process.
KeywordsPlain-jet airblast atomizer, Droplet size distribution, Liquid breakup, Phase-Doppler Anemometry, Sauter mean diameter, Spray stability
Document typePeer reviewed
SourceINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MULTIPHASE FLOW. 2017, vol. 95, issue 1, p. 1-11.
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