Fabrication and Characterization of Micro-Orifices for Diesel Fuel Injectors
Stringent emission standards are driving the development of diesel-fuel injection concepts to mitigate in-cylinder formation of particulates. While research has demonstrated significant reduction in particulate formation using micro-orifice technology, implementation requires development of industrial processes to fabricate micro-orifices with diameters as low as 50 μm and with large length-to-diameter ratios. This paper reviews the different processes being pursued to fabricate micro-orifices and the advanced techniques applied to characterize the performance of micro-orifices. The latter include the use of phase-contrast x-ray imaging of electroless nickel-plated micro-orifices and laser imaging of fuel sprays at elevated pressures. The experimental results demonstrate an industrially viable process to create small uniform orifices that improve spray formation for fuel injection.