1998-09-29

An Experimental Investigation of Spray Transfer Processes in an Electrostatic Rotating Bell Applicator 982290

A better understanding is needed of the electrostatic rotating bell (ESRB) application of metallic basecoat paint to automobile exteriors in order to exploit their high transfer efficiency without compromising the coating quality. This paper presents the initial results from experimental investigation of sprays from an ESRB which is designed to apply water-borne paint. Water was used as paint surrogate for simplicity. The atomization and transport regions of the spray were investigated using laser light sheet visualizations and phase Doppler particle analyzer (PDPA). The experiments were conducted at varying levels of the three important operating parameters: liquid flow rate, shaping-air flow rate, and bellcup rotational speed. The results show that bellcup speed dominates atomization, but liquid and shaping-air flow rate settings significantly influence the spray structure. The visualization images showed that the atomization occurs in ligament breakup regime. Measurements in the spray transport zone, using PDPA, showed that drops tend to segregate according to size, with the larger drops on the outer periphery of the spray.

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