Preliminary photomicrographic studies of fuel sprays

Dana W. Lee, Robert C. Spencer
Jul 1932

Photomicrographs were taken of fuel sprays injected into air at various densities for the purpose of studying the spray structure and the stages in the atomization of the fuel. The photomicrographs were taken at magnifying powers of 2.5, 3.25, and 10, using a spark discharge of very short duration for illumination. The results indicate that the theory advanced by Dr. R. A. Castleman, Jr., on the atomization of fuel in carburetors may also be applied to the atomization of fuel sprays of the solid-injection type. The fuel leaves the nozzle as a solid column, is ruffled and then torn into small, irregular ligaments by the action of the air. These ligaments are then quickly broken up into drops by the surface tension of the fuel. The photomicrographs also show that the dispersion of a fuel spray at a given distance from the nozzle increases with an increase in the jet velocity or an increase in the air density. The first portions of fuel sprays injected from an automatic injection valve into air at atmospheric density have a much greater dispersion than the later portions, but this difference decreases rapidly as the air density is increased.

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