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research-article

Effects of Fluid Properties on Spray Characteristics of a Flow-Blurring Atomizer

[+] Author and Article Information
Brian T. Fisher

ASME member Naval Research Laboratory Chemistry Division 4555 Overlook Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20375, USA
brian.fisher@nrl.navy.mil

Michael R. Weismiller

Naval Research Laboratory 4555 Overlook Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20375, USA
Michael.Weismiller@ee.doe.gov

Steven G. Tuttle

Naval Research Laboratory Chemistry Division 4555 Overlook Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20375, USA
steven.tuttle@nrl.navy.mil

Katherine M. Hinnant

Naval Research Laboratory Chemistry Division 4555 Overlook Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20375, USA
katherine.hinnant@nrl.navy.mil

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038084 History: Received July 28, 2017; Revised August 03, 2017

Abstract

In order to understand the reasons for the apparent benefits of using a flow-blurring (FB) atomizer in a combustion system, it is necessary to first examine fundamental spray characteristics under non-reacting conditions. Previous work on FB atomizers, however, has mostly involved only water and a relatively narrow range of parameters. In this study, a phase Doppler anemometry instrument was used to characterize FB atomizer sprays and determine the effects of varying surface tension and viscosity of the liquid. Operating at room pressure and temperature (i.e., a “cold spray”), droplet sizes and velocities were measured for water, a water/surfactant mixture (lower surface tension), a water/glycerol mixture (higher viscosity), and glycerol (much higher viscosity). For all of the tested fluids, with the exception of pure glycerol, the FB atomizer produced small droplets (below 50 µm) whose size did not vary significantly in the radial or axial direction, particularly above a characteristic distance from the atomizer exit. Results show that the spray is essentially unaffected by a 4.5x decrease in surface tension or a 7x increase in viscosity, and that Sauter mean diameter (SMD) only increased by approximately a factor of three when substituting glycerol (750x higher viscosity) for water. The results suggest that the FB atomizer can effectively atomize a wide range of liquids, making it a useful fuel-flexible atomizer for combustion applications.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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