Ultrasonic Atomization: New Spray Characterization Approaches

Miguel Panão
2022 Fluids  
In particle engineering, spray drying is an essential technique that depends on producing sprays, ideally made of equal-sized droplets. Ultrasonic sprays appear to be the best option to achieve it, and Faraday waves are the background mechanism of ultrasonic atomization. The characterization of sprays in this atomization strategy is commonly related to the relation between characteristic drop sizes and the capillary length produced by the forcing frequency of wavy patterns on thin liquid films.
more » ... However, although this atomization approach is practical when the intended outcome is to produce sprays with droplets of the same size, drop sizes are diverse in real applications. Therefore, adequate characterization of drop size is paramount to establishing the relations between empirical approaches proposed in the literature and the outcome of ultrasonic atomization in actual operating conditions. In this sense, this work explores new approaches to spray characterization applied to ultrasonic sprays produced with different solvents. The first two introduced are the role of redundancy in drop size measurements to avoid resolution limitation in the measurement technique and compare using regular versus variable bin widths when building the histograms of drop size. Another spray characterization tool is the Drop Size Diversity to understand the limitations of characterizing ultrasonic sprays solely based on representative diameters or moments of drop size distributions. The results of ultrasonic spray characterization obtained emphasize: the lack of universality in the relation between a characteristic diameter and the capillary length associated with Faraday waves; the variability on drop size induced by both liquid properties and flow rate on the atomization outcome, namely, lower capillary lengths produce smaller droplets but less efficiently; the higher sensibility of the polydispersion and heterogeneity degrees in Drop Size Diversity when using variable bin widths to build the histograms of drop size; the higher drop size diversity for lower flow rates expressed by the presence of multiple clusters of droplets with similar characteristics leading to multimodal drop size distributions; and the gamma and log-normal mathematical probability functions are the ones that best describe the organization of drop size data in ultrasonic sprays.
doi:10.3390/fluids7010029 fatcat:kxumlrrqf5dornaqxpjwieadju