Measurements of droplet size in shear-driven atomization using ultra-small angle x-ray scattering

A. Kastengren, J. Ilavsky, Juan Pablo Viera, Raul Payri, D. J. Duke, A. Swantek, F. Zak Tilocco, N. Sovis, C. F. Powell

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Measurements of droplet size in optically-thick, non-evaporating, shear-driven sprays have been made using ultra-small angle x-ray scattering (USAXS). The sprays are produced by orifice-type nozzles coupled to diesel injectors, with measurements conducted from 1 – 24 mm from the orifice, spanning from the optically-dense near-nozzle region to more dilute regions where optical diagnostics are feasible. The influence of nozzle diameter, liquid injection pressure, and ambient density were examined. The USAXS measurements reveal few if any nanoscale droplets, in conflict with a popular computational model of diesel spray breakup. The average droplet diameter rapidly decreases with downstream distance from the nozzle until a plateau value is reached, after which only small changes are seen in droplet diameter. This plateau droplet size is consistent with the droplets being small enough to be stable with respect to further breakup. Liquid injection pressure and nozzle diameter have the biggest impact on droplet size, while ambient density has a smaller effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Diesel spray
  • Droplet size
  • X-ray scattering

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