An analytical and experimental study of secondary atomization of vibrational and bag breakup modes

Varun Kulkarni, Purdue University


Bag breakup of drops has been a subject of interest for almost over a century. Several issues such as theoretical estimation of the regime boundary marking the onset of such breakup, bag growth rates, drop size distribution, and the effect of Weber number, We, and Ohnesorge number, Oh, on these quantities remain unaddressed even in works as recent as those of Zhao et al. (2010) and Cao et al. (2007). The current study aims to clarify aspects of the atomization process through experiments and theory. We examine bag breakup of a single drop of various inviscid and low viscosity fluids as it deforms in the presence of a continuous horizontal air jet. The We boundary at which bag breakup begins is theoretically determined and the expression obtained is found to match well with experimental data of Hsiang and Faeth (1995) and Brodkey (1967). An exponential growth in the radial extent of the deformed drop and the streamline dimension of the bag is predicted by the theoretical model and confirmed by experimental findings. These quantities are observed to strongly depend on We. However, their dependence on Oh is weak for the range of Oh considered in this study. Subsequent to drop deformation, bag formation and expansion is the bursting process. This is marked by the disintegration of the bag owing to instability of the Rayleigh-Taylor type, followed by collapse of the liquid rim bounding this bag by Plateau-Rayleigh instability. The sizes of the drops thus produced are measured using Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) which is in contrast to shadowgraphs used in earlier studies of Chou et al. (1998), Zhao et al. (2002). A discernible shift in the peak of the drop size distribution for viscous drops is seen which indicates a preponderance of drops of higher diameters vis-à-vis fragment size distribution for inviscid drops. Furthermore, an estimate of the Sauter mean diameter ( D32) is presented which is somewhat lower than the predictions of Dai and Faeth (2001).




SOJKA, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

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