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A Computational Study of Sprays Produced by Rotary Cage Atomizers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 55(4): 1133-1148. (doi: 10.13031/2013.42232) @2012
Authors:   S. D. Ryan, A. G. Gerber, A. G. L. Holloway
Keywords:   Computational fluid dynamics, Droplet dispersion, Droplet size spectra, Liquid spray, Multiphase flow, Near wake, Pesticide, Rotary cage atomizers, Size segregation, Turbulent dispersion

This article describes a computational study of poly-dispersed droplet spray plumes produced by Micronair AU4000 and AU6539 rotary cage atomizers that are commonly used in agriculture and forestry management. It combines experimental measurements of the droplet size spectrum and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to develop a comprehensive understanding of droplet dispersion and spatial segregation in the near wake of the atomizer. The results will assist the development of improved measurement methodologies of pesticide droplet spectra. A parametric study of the Micronair AU4000 atomizer examines the effects of air speed, atomizer speed, liquid flow rate, and power source on spatial segregation of the plume. The RANS model uses a combined Lagrangian (droplet phase) and Eulerian (gas phase) procedure and includes the sprayer with blades and a large portion of the wind tunnel geometry. The computational results are compared to full-scale experimental measurements of pressure, gas phase velocity, turbulence intensity, and droplet size spectra measured using phase Doppler interferometry (PDI).

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