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Numerical simulation of cavitation and atomization using a fully compressible three-phase model

Mithun, M-G, Koukouvinis, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-3945-3707 & Gavaises, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-0874-8534 (2018). Numerical simulation of cavitation and atomization using a fully compressible three-phase model. Physical Review Fluids, 3(6), article number 064304. doi: 10.1103/physrevfluids.3.064304


The aim of this paper is to present a fully compressible three-phase (liquid, vapour and air) model and its application to the simulation of in-nozzle cavitation effects on liquid atomization. The model employs a combination of homogeneous equilibrium barotropic cavitation model with an implicit sharp interface capturing VoF approximation. The numerical predictions are validated against the experimental results obtained for injection of water into the air from a step-nozzle, which is designed to produce asymmetric cavitation along its two sides. Simulations are performed for three injection pressures, corresponding to three different cavitation regimes, referred to as cavitation inception, developing cavitation and hydraulic-flip. Model validation is achieved by qualitative comparison of the cavitation, spray pattern and spray cone angles. The flow turbulence in this study is resolved using the Large Eddy Simulation approach. The simulation results indicate that the major parameters that influence the primary atomization are cavitation, liquid turbulence and, to a smaller extent, the Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz aerodynamic instabilities developing on the liquid/air interface. Moreover, the simulations performed indicate that periodic entrainment of air into the nozzle occurs at intermediate cavitation numbers, corresponding to developing cavitation (as opposed to incipient and fully-developed cavitation regimes); this transient effect causes a periodic shedding of the cavitation and air clouds and contributes to improved primary atomization. Finally, the cone angle of the spray is found to increase with increased injection pressure but drops drastically when hydraulic-flip occurs, in agreement with the relevant experiments.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 American Physical Society.
Publisher Keywords: Cavitation, atomization, LES, VoF, three-phase, compressible, step-nozzle, barotro
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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