Simplex nozzle, breakup, coalesecence, fuels


Atomization can be achieved by discharging liquid at relative high velocities into a slow moving environment (hydraulic nozzles) or by discharging liquid at low velocities into a fast moving gas flow (air-blast nozzles). These two types of injector nozzles are featured in majority of the industry applications such as power generation, food or pharmaceutical powder formation, spray painting, petroleum refining, and thermal sprays. The most common atomizer used in combustion engines is the pressure-swirl nozzle (Simplex nozzle) to obtain a homogenous mixture at different equivalence ratios. The experimental studies performed with pressure-swirl nozzles have reported contradictory results over the last few years. Thus, the fundamentals of spray dynamics, such as spray formation, liquid breakup length, droplet breakup regimes, and coalescence still need to be understood for a pressure-swirl nozzle. An experimental study of the breakup characteristics of various liquids and fuels with different thermal physical properties emanating from hollow cone hydraulic injector nozzles induced by pressure-swirling was investigated. The experiments were conducted using two nozzles with different orifice diameters 0.3mm and 0.5mm and injection pressures (0.3-4MPa) which correspond to Rep = 7,000-31,000 depending on the liquids being tested. Three laserbased techniques, i.e., Shadowgraph, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Phase Doppler Particle Anemometry (PDPA) were utilized in this study. Although each technique had its limitation in different flow regimes, the results were cross-validated, and generally showed correct trends in axial and radial measurements of velocity and diameter for different nozzles, Weber and Reynolds numbers. iii The spatial variation of diameter and velocity arises principally due to primary breakup of liquid films and subsequent secondary breakup of large droplets due to aerodynamic shear. Downstream of the nozzle, coalescence of droplets due to collision is also found to be significant. Different types of liquid film break up was considered and found to match well with the theory. The spray is subdivided into three zones: near the nozzle, a zone consisting of film and ligament regime, where primary breakup and some secondary breakup take place; a second zone where the secondary breakup process continues, but weakens, and the centrifugal dispersion becomes dominant, and a third zone away from the spray where coalescence is dominant. Each regime has been analyzed in detail to understand the effect of surface tension and viscosity. Surface tension and viscosity were engineered to mimic fuels, which were then compared with real fuels such as Ethanol, Jet-A and Kerosene. Results show similarity in the diameter in the beginning stages of breakup but in the coalescence regime, the values deviate from each other, indicating that the vapor pressure also plays a major role in this regime.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date





Kumar, Ranganathan


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering








Release Date

December 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic