High-resolution X-ray tomography of Engine Combustion Network diesel injectors

Katarzyna E. Matusik, Daniel J. Duke, Alan L. Kastengren, Nicholas Sovis, Andrew B. Swantek, Christopher F. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The flow inside direct-injection diesel nozzles is strongly influenced by the local geometry. Deviations from the design geometry and nonuniformities along the fuel’s flow path can alter the expected spray behavior. The influence of small-scale variations in the internal geometry is not well understood due to a lack of data available to experimentalists and modelers that resolve such features. To address the need for more accurate geometry measurements that also quantify the error bounds on manufacturing variability, the 7-BM beamline of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory has been customized to obtain high-resolution X-ray tomography of injection nozzles. In this article, we present results for several diesel injectors provided by the Engine Combustion Network. The imaging setup was optimized to measure dense metallic samples at high signal-to-noise ratio using projection imaging. To improve contrast, multiple images were recorded at each rotation angle. Phase shifting effects, which amplify the uncertainty in locating nozzle boundaries, were minimized by reducing the propagation distance of the X-rays between the nozzle and detector. Such improvements to the imaging technique enabled the nozzle hole diameter to be measured with an accuracy of 1.8 µm, which takes into account the pixel resolution as well as the properties of the imaging setup and the geometric analysis. The high spatial resolution allows the nozzle hole inlet corner radius to be azimuthally resolved. For the sample set under consideration, these new measurements reveal that non-hydroground injectors have a distribution of radii which typically vary by more than a factor of two. An azimuthally varying radius of curvature at the hole inlet is expected to result in highly asymmetric cavitation. Skeletal wireframe models of the nozzle hole geometries suitable for computational fluid dynamics mesh generation have been developed, in addition to full three-dimensional isosurfaces; these data have been made publicly available online.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-976
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Engine Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • diesel
  • direct injection
  • Engine Combustion Network
  • fuel spray
  • geometry
  • X-ray tomography

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