Year of Publication


Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Kozo Saito


This study focuses on the design and development of a new spray applicator design utilizing effects of imposed pressure oscillations in conjunction with cavitation collapse energy to create distribution of fine droplets. An oscillating horn placed inside the nozzle performing high frequency oscillations is envisioned to provide the necessary pressure perturbations on the exiting liquid jet, while the nozzle geometry design in configured to amplify cavitation process. Initially, a two-zone approach modeling the nozzle interior and exterior in a separate fashion and later, a coupled strategy is proposed. Parametric studies describing the effect of horn stroke length, frequency, its position inside the nozzle in combination with different nozzle designs and liquid flow rates are explored to identify their contribution in obtaining desired cavitation characteristics. In this regard, incorporation of a backward facing step profile within the nozzle shows strong capability of generating the required cavitation and flow field distribution at the nozzle exit. The velocity modulations occuring at the nozzle exit due to oscillating horn structure result in a wide gamut of liquid structures specific to the imposed oscillation frequency and modulation amplitude. The disintegration characteristics of these modulated liquid jets are studied using a Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) interface capturing approach based on finite volume methodology employing an interface compression scheme. VOF methods are validated against experimental results and then subsequently used to study scaling parameters governing the modulated liquid jets. To perform coupled interior-exterior nozzle computations with cavitation, two new cavitation models are presented: First, a model based on Homogeneous Equilibrium assumptions for tracking cavitation events in a compressible framework is presented. Owing to its inability to simulate incompressible cavitating flows, a new cavitation event tracking model based on a Cavitation-Induced-Momentum-Defect (CIMD) correction approach is formulated utilizing a scalar transport model for vapor volume fraction with relevant transport, diffusion and source terms. Validations of both the models against experimental observations are detailed. Coupled internal-external liquid flow computations from the proposed atomizer design using a VOF-CIMD strategy shows strong potential for rapid drop formation in the presence of cavitation effects. A prototype model of a new spray applicator design is presented.