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Atomization and Sprays
IF: 1.262 5-Year IF: 1.518 SJR: 0.814 SNIP: 1.18 CiteScore™: 1.6

ISSN Print: 1044-5110
ISSN Online: 1936-2684

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Atomization and Sprays

DOI: 10.1615/AtomizSpr.2018018917
pages 321-344

COMPUTATIONAL STUDY OF ATOMIZATION AND FUEL DROP SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS IN HIGH-SPEED PRIMARY BREAKUP

Luis Bravo
Propulsion Division, Vehicle Technology Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21005, USA
D. Kim
Cascade Technologies Inc., Palo Alto, California 94303, USA
F. Ham
Cascade Technologies Inc., Palo Alto, California 94303, USA
S. Su
Computational Sciences Branch, Computational & Information Sciences Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21005, USA

ABSTRACT

The fundamental physical process of an atomizing spray produced by a pulsed injector plays a crucial role in analyzing the combustion dynamics in many propulsion-related applications. A full understanding of the primary atomization process has not been achieved for several reasons, including difficulties in visualizing the optically dense region. Due to the recent advances in numerical methods and computing resources, high-resolution simulations of atomizing flows are becoming available to provide new insights into the complex process. In the present study, an unstructured, unsplit volume-of-fluid (VoF) method is employed to model the liquid/gas interface and droplet formation dynamics for a single pulsed-injection event issued from a complex diesel injector. Two single-component reference fuels, n-paraffin (n-dodecane) and isoparaffin (isooctane), were selected to study the influence of hydrocarbon fuel properties on the spray formation mechanisms. The spray is released into a quiescent environment filled with nitrogen gas at 20 bar and 300 K. The fuel transport properties at peak conditions for the cases considered are in the range of 6.9 × 103 < Re < 2.5 × 104, 5.4 × 104 < We < 1.25 × 105, and 0.01 < Oh < 0.03 and set the spray in a transitional atomization regime. The simulations provide microscopic-level detail of the liquid/gas interface dynamics and droplet formation process with quantified statistics from first principles. Comparisons with experimental measurements and theory demonstrate the validity of the interface-capturing approach and provide a novel analysis tool to explore the underlying breakup physics.


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