Experiments in Fluids

, 55:1662 | Cite as

On the formation of string cavitation inside fuel injectors

  • B. A. ReidEmail author
  • M. Gavaises
  • N. Mitroglou
  • G. K. Hargrave
  • C. P. Garner
  • E. J. Long
  • R. M. McDavid
Research Article


The formation of vortex or ‘string’ cavitation has been visualised in the flow upstream of the injection hole inlet of an automotive-sized optical diesel fuel injector nozzle operating at pressures up to 2,000 bar. Three different nozzle geometries and three-dimensional flow simulations have been employed to describe how, for two adjacent nozzle holes, their relative positions influenced the formation and hole-to-hole interaction of the observed string cavitation vortices. Each hole was shown to contain two counter-rotating vortices: the first extending upstream on axis with the nozzle hole into the nozzle sac volume and the second forming a single ‘bridging’ string linked to the adjacent hole. Steady-state and transient fuel injection conditions were shown to produce significantly different nozzle-flow characteristics with regard to the formation and interaction of these vortices in the geometries tested, with good agreement between the experimental and simulation results being achieved. The study further confirms that the visualised vortices do not cavitate themselves but act as carriers of gas-phase components within the injector flow.


Vortex Cavitation Injection Hole Nozzle Hole Rail Pressure 
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This work has been technically and financially supported by Caterpillar Inc. and the UK Technology Strategy Board (Project No. TP/3/DSM/6/I/15289). This project was co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board’s Collaborative Research and Development programme, following an open competition. The Technology Strategy Board is an executive body established by the government to drive innovation. It promotes and invests in research, development and the exploitation of science, technology and new ideas for the benefit of business—increasing sustainable economic growth in the UK and improving quality of life.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Reid
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Gavaises
    • 2
  • N. Mitroglou
    • 2
  • G. K. Hargrave
    • 1
  • C. P. Garner
    • 1
  • E. J. Long
    • 1
  • R. M. McDavid
    • 3
  1. 1.Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.School of Engineering and Mathematical SciencesCity University LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Product Development and Global Technology DivisionCaterpillar Inc.MossvilleUSA

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