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Numerical simulation of fuel dribbling and nozzle wall wetting

Gavaises, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-0874-8534, Murali-Girija, M., Rodriguez, C. , Koukouvinis, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-3945-3707, Gold, M. & Pearson, R. (2021). Numerical simulation of fuel dribbling and nozzle wall wetting. International Journal of Engine Research, 23(1), pp. 132-149. doi: 10.1177/1468087420985189


The present work describes a numerical methodology and its experimental validation of the flow development inside and outside of the orifices during a pilot injection, dwelt time and the subsequent start of injection cycle. The compressible Navier-Stokes equations are numerically solved in a six-hole injector imposing realistic conditions of the needle valve movement and considering in addition a time-dependent eccentric motion. The valve motion is simulated using the immersed boundary method; this allows for simulations to be performed at zero lift during the dwelt time between successive injections, where the needle remains closed. Moreover, the numerical model utilises a fully compressible two-phase (liquid, vapour) two-component (fuel, air) barotropic model. The air’s motion is simulated with an additional transport equation coupled with the VOF interface capturing method able to resolve the near-nozzle atomisation and the resulting impact of the injected liquid on the oleophilic nozzle wall surfaces. The eccentric needle motion is found to be responsible for the formation of strong swirling flows inside the orifices, which not only contributes to the breakup of the injected liquid jet into ligaments but also to their backwards motion towards the external wall surface of the injector. Model predictions suggest that such nozzle wall wetting phenomena are more pronounced during the closing period of the valve and the re-opening of the nozzle, due to the residual gases trapped inside the nozzle, and which contribute to the poor atomisation of the injected fluid upon re-opening of the needle valve in subsequent injection events.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Publisher Keywords: Cavitation, fuel dribbling, wall-wetting, fuel injectors
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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