A CFD Study of a pMDI Plume Spray

  • Ricardo F. Oliveira
  • Ana C. Ferreira
  • Senhorinha F. Teixeira
  • José C. Teixeira
  • Helena Cabral-Marques
Conference paper


Asthma is an inflammatory chronic disease characterized by airway obstructions disorders. The treatment is usually done by inhalation therapy, in which pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) are preferred devices. The objective of this paper is to characterize and simulate a pMDI spray plume by introducing realistic factors through a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study. Numerical simulations were performed with Fluent® software, by using a three-dimensional “testbox” for room environment representation. A salbutamol/HFA-134a formulation was used for characterization, whose properties taken as input for the CFD simulations. Spray droplets were considered to be composed by ethanol, salbutamol and HFA-134a. Propellant evaporation was taken into consideration, as well as, drag coefficient correction. Results showed an air temperature drop of 3.3 °C near the nozzle. Also, an increase in air velocity of 3.27 m/s was noticed. The CFD results seem to be in good agreement with Dunbar (1997) data on particle average velocity along the axial distance from the nozzle.


Computational fluid dynamics Discrete phase model Drug particles Lagrangian tracking pMDI Spray characterization 



The first author would like to express his acknowledgments for the support given by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the PhD Grant SFRH/BD/76458/2011. This work was financed by National Funds-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under Strategic Project PEst-C/EME/UI4077/2011 and PEst-OE/EME/UI0252/2011.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo F. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Ana C. Ferreira
    • 2
  • Senhorinha F. Teixeira
    • 2
  • José C. Teixeira
    • 1
  • Helena Cabral-Marques
    • 3
  1. 1.CT2M R&D Center, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal
  2. 2.CGIT R&D Center, Department of Production and SystemsUniversity of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal
  3. 3.iMed.UL R&D Center, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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