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Technical Paper

A Chemical-Kinetic Approach to the Definition of the Laminar Flame Speed for the Simulation of the Combustion of Spark-Ignition Engines

The laminar burning speed is an important intrinsic property of an air-fuel mixture determining key combustion characteristics such as turbulent flame propagation. It is a function of the mixture composition (mixture fraction and residual gas mass fraction) and of the thermodynamic conditions. Experimental measurements of Laminar Flame Speeds (LFS) are common in literature, but initial pressure and temperature are limited to low values due to the test conditions: typical pressure values for LFS detection are lower than 25 bar, and temperature rarely exceeds 550 K. Actual trends in spark ignition engines are to increase specific power output by downsizing and supercharging, thus the flame front involves even more higher pressure and temperature since the beginning of combustion.
Journal Article

A Numerical Model for Flash Boiling of Gasoline-Ethanol Blends in Fuel Injector Nozzles

Fuels are formulated by a variety of different components characterized by chemical and physical properties spanning a wide range of values. Changing the ratio between the mixture component molar fractions, it is possible to fulfill different requirements. One of the main properties that can be strongly affected by mixture composition is the volatility that represents the fuel tendency to vaporize. For example, changing the mixture ratio between alcohols and hydrocarbons, it is possible to vary the mixture saturation pressure, therefore the fuel vaporization ratio during the injection process. This paper presents a 1D numerical model to simulate the superheated injection process of a gasoline-ethanol mixture through real nozzle geometries. In order to test the influence of the mixture properties on flash atomization and flash evaporation, the simulation is repeated for different mixtures characterized by different gasoline-ethanol ratio.
Technical Paper

Comparison of the Homogeneous Relaxation Model and a Rayleigh Plesset Cavitation Model in Predicting the Cavitating Flow Through Various Injector Hole Shapes

Two cavitation models are evaluated based on their ability to reproduce the development of cavitation experimentally observed by Winklhofer et al. inside injector hole geometries. The first is Singhal's model, derived from a reduced form of the Rayleigh-Plesset equation, implemented in the commercial CFD package Fluent. The second is the homogeneous relaxation model, a continuum model that uses an empirical timescale to reproduce a range of vaporization mechanisms, implemented in the OpenFOAM framework. Previous work by Neroorkar et al. validated the homogeneous relaxation model for one of the nozzle geometries tested by Winklhofer et al. The present work extends that validation to all the three geometries considered by Winklhofer et al in order to compare the models' ability to capture the effects of nozzle convergence.
Journal Article

Geometric and Fluid-Dynamic Characterization of Actual Open Cell Foam Samples by a Novel Imaging Analysis Based Algorithm

Metallic open-cell foams have proven to be valuable for many engineering applications. Their success is mainly related to mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange, low flow resistance and sound absorption properties. The present work aims to investigate three principal aspects of real foams: the geometrical characterization, the flow regime characterization, the effects of the pore size and the porosity on the pressure drop. The first aspect is very important, since the geometrical properties depend on other parameters, such as porosity, cell/pore size and specific surface. A statistical evaluation of the cell size of a foam sample is necessary to define both its geometrical characteristics and the flow pattern at a given input velocity. To this purpose, a procedure which statistically computes the number of cells and pores with a given size has been implemented in order to obtain the diameter distribution.
Technical Paper

Parametric Analysis of the Effect of the Fluid Properties and the Mesh Setup by Using the Schnerr-Sauer Cavitation Model

The primary target of the internal combustion engines design is to lower the fuel consumption and to enhance the combustion process quality, in order to reduce the raw emission levels without performances penalty. In this scenario the direct injection system plays a key role for both diesel and gasoline engines. The spray dynamic behaviour is crucial in defining the global and the local air index of the mixture, which in turns affects the combustion process development. At the same time it is widely recognized that the spray formation is influenced by numerous parameters, among which also the cavitation process inside every single hole of the injector nozzle. The proper prediction of the cavitation development inside the injector nozzle holes is crucial in predicting the liquid jet emerging from them.
Technical Paper

Superheated Sprays of Alternative Fuels for Direct Injection Engines

Alternative and oxygenated fuels are nowadays being studied in order to increase engine efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions and also to limit the automotive industry's economical dependency from crude oil. These fuels are considered more ecological compared to hydrocarbons because they are obtained using renewable sources. Fuels like anhydrous/hydrous ethanol, methanol or alcohol/gasoline blends which are injected in liquid form must vaporize quickly, especially in direct injection engines, therefore their volatility is a very important factor and strongly depends on thermodynamic conditions and chemical properties. When a multi-component fuel blend is injected into a low pressure environment below its saturation pressure, a rapid boiling of the most volatile component triggers a thermodynamic atomization mechanism. These kinds of sprays show smaller droplets and lower penetration compared to mechanical break up.