Abstract

In this study, inert liquid sprays are generated by impinging two symmetric jets of water with a central jet of water, ethanol, or n-dodecane. This configuration, referred to as an unlike triplet injector, can be used in rocket engines to atomize liquid storable propellants, for instance, hydrogen peroxide oxidizer combined to a fuel. Here, the inert sprays are investigated in the so-called impact waves regime, which corresponds to jets a Weber number of higher than 1000. The atomization process is characterized using high-magnification shadowgraphy (HMS) from the impinging point of the jets into a sheet until it breaks up into ligaments and droplets. The HMS technique enables 10 kHz visualizations with an interframe of 4 μs and a spatial resolution up to 6.4 μm/pixel (1024 × 1024 pixels). Characteristic lengths of the primary atomization are measured: breakup length, apparent wavelength, and ligaments size. Similarly, the droplet populations are described based on arithmetic and Sauter mean diameters, shape, and velocity. Statistics of large droplet distributions are analyzed regarding the injection conditions and distance to the impingement point. Compared to like-doublet spray, the like-triplet evidences a slower atomization (longer breakup distance) and generates larger drops that require more distance to stabilize in size, centricity, and velocity. Unlike-triplet sprays exhibit a similar behavior to like-triplet spray while producing larger droplets, probably because of the fuel properties that stabilize the liquid sheet.

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