Near-field Observations of a Coaxial Airblast Atomizer under Elevated Ambient Pressure

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Burtnett, Thomas J.
Morgan, Timothy B.
Dahlstrom, Timothy C.
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Begell House
Heindel, Theodore
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Mechanical Engineering
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University is where innovation thrives and the impossible is made possible. This is where your passion for problem-solving and hands-on learning can make a real difference in our world. Whether you’re helping improve the environment, creating safer automobiles, or advancing medical technologies, and athletic performance, the Department of Mechanical Engineering gives you the tools and talent to blaze your own trail to an amazing career.
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Spray atomization is a complex process that is vital in many industrial applications such as combustion, agricultural chemical application, and powder formation. Spray processes occur under atmospheric conditions as well as increased ambient pressure environments, providing a need to observe both for a more complete understanding of spray characteristics and control mechanisms. This study presents the results from a coaxial airblast atomizer operated within a newly commissioned Chamber for Assorted Pressurized Spray sUrveiLlancE, or CAPSULE. The CAPSULE is a 190 liter, 316L stainless steel pressure vessel with six sight glasses that facilitate multiple experimental techniques. For this study, high-speed, back-illuminated images are taken of sprays inside the CAPSULE at a constant momentum flux ratio of 27 ± 1 for increasing swirl ratios and ambient pressures up to 0.5 MPa. The fluids used in the spray are compressed air and distilled water. Results for spray angle and intact length measurements are presented and compared to data from previous atmospheric studies. The spray angle results show that increasing the ambient pressure increases the spray angle when the swirl ratio is sufficient, with the maximum spray angle occurring when SR = 1 and Pamb = 0.5 MPa. Under lower swirl conditions, there was little to no difference in spray angle when varying ambient pressure. Intact length decreased with increasing swirl ratio, but there was little effect of ambient pressure. Atmospheric intact length measurements taken within the CAPSULE resembled those taken previously with atomizers of the same geometry.
This article is published as Burtnett, Thomas J., Timothy B. Morgan, Timothy C. Dahlstrom, and Theodore J. Heindel. "Near-field Observations of a Coaxial Airblast Atomizer under Elevated Ambient Pressure." Atomization and Sprays 32, no. 9 (2022). DOI: 10.1615/AtomizSpr.2022041497. Copyright 2022 Begell House. Posted with permission.