Aspects of Numerical Modelling of Flash-Boiling Fuel Sprays 2015-24-2463
Flash-boiling of sprays may occur when a superheated liquid is discharged into an ambient environment with lower pressure than its saturation pressure. Such conditions normally exist in direct-injection spark-ignition engines operating at low in-cylinder pressures and/or high fuel temperatures. The addition of novel high volatile additives/fuels may also promote flash-boiling. Fuel flashing plays a significant role in mixture formation by promoting faster breakup and higher fuel evaporation rates compared to non-flashing conditions. Therefore, fundamental understanding of the characteristics of flashing sprays is necessary for the development of more efficient mixture formation. The present computational work focuses on modelling flash-boiling of n-Pentane and iso-Octane sprays using a Lagrangian particle tracking technique. First an evaporation model for superheated droplets is implemented within the computational framework of STAR-CD, along with a full set of temperature dependent fuel properties. Then the computational tool is used to model the injection of flashing sprays through a six-hole asymmetric injector. The computational results are validated against optical experimental data obtained previously with the same injector by high-speed imaging techniques. The effects of ambient pressure (0.5 and 1.0 bar) and fuel temperature (20-180° C) on the non-flashing and flashing characteristics are examined. Effects of initial droplet size and break-up sub-models are also investigated. The computational methodology is able to reproduce important physical characteristics of flash-boiling sprays like the onset and extent of spray collapse. Based on the current observations, further improvements to the mathematical methodology used for the flash-boiling model are proposed.