Liquid droplet impingement on aircraft can be problematic as it leads to ice accretion. There have been many incidents of aircraft disasters involving ice accretion, such as American Eagle Flight 4184. Understanding liquid droplet impingement is critical in designing aircraft that can mitigate the damages caused by icing. However, the FAA's regulations are only specified for "Appendix C" droplets; thus, aircraft designs may not be safe when accounting for droplets such as Supercooled Large Droplets. The assumptions of many models, such as the Taylor-Analogy Breakup (TAB) model, are no longer accurate for Supercooled Large Droplets, and the physics of those models break down. Computational modeling is used to simulate droplets in the SLD regime. A Lagrangian reference frame is used in this formulation. In this reference frame, a Volume of Fluid variation of the Navier-Stokes equations is used to resolve and isolate a single droplet. Experimental data shows conflicting results for Weber Number ranges in different primary breakup mechanisms. The goal of this research is to develop a computational model of a water droplet and test it against experimental data. This work shows that the scientific consensus on Weber Number ranges for different breakup modes may not necessarily be accurate, as the computational model agrees with some sets of experimental data, but contradicts others.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair

Kinzel, Michael


Bachelor Science in Aerospace Engineering (B.S.A.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Aerospace Engineering



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date