The impact of density ratio on the liquid core dynamics of a turbulent liquid jet injected into a crossflow

Marcus Herrmann, Marco Arienti, Marios Soteriou

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47 Scopus citations


Atomizing liquids by injecting them into crossflows is a common approach in gas turbines and augmentors. Much of our current understanding of the processes resulting in atomization of the jets, the resulting jet penetration and spray drop size distribution have been obtained by performing laboratory experiments at ambient conditions. Yet, operating conditions under which jets in crossflows atomize can be far different from ambient. Hence, several dimensionless groups have been identified that are believed to determine jet penetration and resulting drop size distribution. These are usually the jet and crossflow Weber and Reynolds numbers and the momentum flux ratio. In this paper, we aim to answer the question of whether an additional dimensionless group, the liquid to gas density ratio must be matched. We perform detailed simulations of the primary atomization region using the refined level set grid (RLSG) method to track the motion of the liquid/gas phase interface. We employ a balanced force, interface projected curvature method to ensure high accuracy of the surface tension forces, use a multiscale approach to transfer broken off, small scale nearly spherical drops into a Lagrangian point particle description allowing for full two-way coupling and continued secondary atomization, and employ a dynamic Smagorinsky large eddy simulation (LES) approach in the single phase regions of the flow to describe turbulence. We present simulation results for a turbulent liquid jet (q=6.6, We=330, and Re=14,000) injected into a gaseous crossflow (Re=740,000) analyzed under ambient conditions (density ratio 816) experimentally by Brown and McDonnell [2006, "Near Field Behavior of a Liquid Jet in a Crossflow," Proceedings of the ILASS Americas, 19th Annual Conference on Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems]. We compare simulation results obtained using a liquid to gas density ratio of 10 and 100. The results show that the increase in density ratio causes a noticeable increase in liquid core penetration with reduced bending and spreading in the transverse directions. The post-primary atomization spray penetrates further in both the jet and transverse direction. Results further show that the penetration correlations for the windward side trajectory commonly reported in the literature strongly depend on the value of threshold probability used to identify the leading edge. Correlations based on penetration of the jet's liquid core center of mass, on the other hand, can provide a less ambiguous measure of jet penetration. Finally, the increase in density ratio results in a decrease in wavelength of the most dominant feature associated with a traveling wave along the jet as determined by proper orthogonal decomposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061501
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 25 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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