, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 371-402
Date: 22 Jan 2009

Secondary atomization

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When a drop is subjected to a surrounding dispersed phase that is moving at an initial relative velocity, aerodynamic forces will cause it to deform and fragment. This is referred to as secondary atomization. In this paper, the abundant literature on secondary atomization experimental methods, breakup morphology, breakup times, fragment size and velocity distributions, and modeling efforts is reviewed and discussed. Focus is placed on experimental and numerical results which clarify the physical processes that lead to breakup. From this, a consistent theory is presented which explains the observed behavior. It is concluded that viscous shear plays little role in the breakup of liquid drops in a gaseous environment. Correlations are given which will be useful to the designer, and a number of areas are highlighted where more work is needed.

This material is based upon work supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.