I visualized the flash-boiling atomization of liquid jets released into a low pressure environment at frame rates of up to five million frames per second. Such a high temporal resolution allowed us to observe for the first time the bubble expansion mechanism that atomizes the jet. To visualize the dynamics in detail, I focused closely to the outflow of the nozzle using a long distance microscope objective. I documented an abrupt transition from a laminar to a fully external flashing jet by systematically reducing the ambient pressure. I performed experiments with different volatile liquids and using nozzles with different inner diameters. The inner diameters of the nozzles varied from 30 to 480 µm. Perfluorohexane (PFnH) was our main working fluid, but also methanol, ethanol and 1-bromopropane were tested. Surprisingly, minimum intensity profiles revealed spray angles close to θs ~360°, meaning drops are ejected in all directions. Also, I measured speeds of bubble expansion up to 140 m/s. That is 45 times faster than the upper bound for inertial growth speed in complete vacuum from the Rayleigh-Plesset equation. I also calculated the trajectories of the ejected droplets as well as the drop speed distribution using particle tracking. I expect that our results bring new insight into the flash-boiling atomization mechanism.
|Date made available
|KAUST Research Repository