Gas Efficient Liquid Atomization Using Micro-Machined Spray Nozzles
Improved atomization is important in fuel injection applications since atomization influences fuel-air mixing and vaporization rates. The present paper explores the use of low pressure gas/air injection and methods to achieve a dispersed two-phase flow to enhance the atomization process. Gas-driven twin-fluid atomization has been achieved by combining X-ray lithographic/micro-machining technology to mechanically disperse a driving gas into a liquid to be sprayed. This technique forces the gas through a designed pattern of micron sized holes thereby yielding a field of micro-bubbles immediately upstream of the < I mm. diameter discharge orifice. Precise control of both uniformity of hole diameter and inter-hole spacing is critical to producing a well dispersed bubbly flow. The results show that the method of gas injection influences the liquid breakup process. Results are given for steady-flow atomization with low pressure injection into ambient air.