Droplet/ligament modulation of local small-scale turbulence and scalar mixing in a dense fuel spray

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Abstract

In this study, the modulation of turbulence and scalar mixing by finite-size droplets/ligaments in a dense fuel spray is investigated using a DNS (Direct Numerical Simulation) dataset. Ejected from a spray nozzle with a high speed, a liquid-fuel jet deforms and the fuel spray is atomized into many ligaments and droplets. During these processes, the gas flow becomes turbulent due to droplet/ligament dynamics. At the same time, droplet evaporation and mixing with ambient air are affected by the small-scale gas turbulence. An understanding of the mixing characteristics in the dense spray zone is important for modeling spray combustion. In a region where the droplet number density is relatively low, a universal feature of isotropic turbulence was found, although the alignments of strain eigenvectors with vorticity and the mixture fraction gradient are slightly modulated by the presence of droplets, which is a characteristic of particle-laden flows. In gas-phase regions close to droplet surfaces, where the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy is strongly increased, the alignments are more modulated, especially those of the scalar gradient with strain eigenvectors. This can also be seen in the topology similarity among energy dissipation, enstrophy and scalar dissipation in the near field of droplet/ligament surfaces. For the first time, it is found that droplets whose size is comparable to turbulence scales do affect the mixing characteristics in a realistic turbulent spray. This finding has shed new light upon the modeling of flow turbulence and scalar mixing in an evaporating and atomizing fuel spray.

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Shinjo, J., Xia, J., & Umemura, A. (2015). Droplet/ligament modulation of local small-scale turbulence and scalar mixing in a dense fuel spray. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 35(2), 1595–1602. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2014.06.088

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