Effect of atomization gas properties on droplet atomization in an "air-assist" atomizer
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Air, nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide were used as the atomizing gas in an 'air-assist' spray nozzle to determine the effect of these gases on mean droplet size, number density, velocity and their distributions in kerosene fuel spays and spray flames using a two dimensional phase Doppler interferometer. Data have been obtained with these atomizing gases using a base, air assisted case as a reference, since this is the most commonly used atomizing fluid in almost all applications. Comparisons were made between the gases on a mass and momentum flux basis. Both burning and nonburning sprays were investigated. The results show significant differences in atomization characteristics from the atomizer with different gases and under conditions of constant mass and momentum flux of the gas. The results also show that the presence of oxygen in the air atomized sprays assists in the combustion process, since it produces smaller and faster moving droplets, especially at locations near to the nozzle exit. In nonburning sprays, droplets had similar size and velocity. Lighter gases such as nitrogen more effectively atomized the fuel in comparison to the denser gases. Argon and carbon dioxide produced larger, slower moving droplets than air and nitrogen assisted cases in both the burning and nonburning sprays. Flame photographs revealed the argon and carbon dioxide atomized flames to have greater luminosity than air or nitrogen atomized flames.
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