Particle Image Velocimetry Applications of Fluorescent Dye-Doped Particles

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Virginia Tech


Laser flare can often be a major issue in particle image velocimetry (PIV) involving solid boundaries in a flow or a gas-liquid interface. The use of fluorescent light from dye-doped particles has been demonstrated in water applications, but reproducing the technique in an airflow is more difficult due to particle size constraints and safety concerns.

The following thesis is formatted in a hybrid manuscript style, including a full paper presenting the applications of fluorescent Kiton Red 620 (KR620)-doped polystyrene latex microspheres in PIV. These particles used are small and monodisperse, with a mean diameter of 0.87 μm. The KR620 dye exhibits much lower toxicity than other common fluorescent dyes, and would be safe to use in large flow facilities.

The first sections present a general introduction followed by a validation experiment using a standard PIV setup in a free jet. This work was the first to demonstrate PIV using fluorescent KR620-doped microspheres in an airflow, and results from the experiment were compared to similar data taken using standard PIV techniques. For the free jet results, Mie-scattered and fluorescent PIV were compared and showed average velocities within 3% of each other at the nozzle exit. Based on the PIV validation requirements used, this was deemed to be more of an indication of nozzle unsteadiness rather than an error or bias in the data. Furthermore, fluorescent PIV data obtained vector validation rates over 98%, well above the standard threshold of 95%.

The journal article expands on the introductory work and analyzes testing scenarios where fluorescent PIV allows for velocity measurements much closer to a solid surface than standard, Mie-scattered PIV. The fluorescent signal from the particles is measured on average to be 320 ± 10 times weaker than the Mie scattering signal from the particles. This fluorescence-to-Mie ratio was found to be nonuniform, with the typical signal ratio for a single particle expected to fall between 120 and 870. This reduction in signal is counterbalanced by greatly enhanced contrast via optical rejection of the incident laser wavelength. Fluorescent PIV with these particles is shown to eliminate laser flare near surfaces, in one case leading to 63 times fewer spurious velocity vectors than an optimized Mie scattering implementation in a region more than 5 mm from an angled surface.

In the appendix, a brief summary of an experiment to characterize the temperature sensitivity of the KR620 dye is included. This experiment concluded that the KR620 particles did not exhibit sufficient temperature sensitivity to warrant further investigation at the time.



Particle Image Velocimetry, Laser Induced Fluorescence, Kiton Red, Laser Flare