Campus Units

Mechanical Engineering

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Publication Version

Published Version

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Journal or Book Title

International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer



First Page





Liquid-fueled combustion systems demand optimal performance over a range of operating conditions—requiring predictable fuel injection events, spray breakup, and vaporization across a range of temperatures and pressures. In direct injection combustors, these sprays impinge directly on combustion chamber surfaces. Although the outcome of fuel droplets impacting a wall is primarily driven by the wall temperature and the Leidenfrost effect, the shifting liquid-vapor saturation point with pressure may influence the droplet-wall heat transfer rate and transition from nucleate to film boiling. In this paper, the role of ambient pressure on the droplet impact regimes, spreading rate, and droplet rebound velocity during impact are explored for representative low boiling point and high boiling point pure hydrocarbon liquids (n-heptane and n-decane). High-speed image sequences of the drop-wall impact were acquired for ambient pressures of 1–20 bar and wall temperatures ranging from 35–300 ∘C with a drop Weber number of ~ 50. Droplet impact sequences were recorded using a high-speed CMOS camera and were processed to measure the droplet spread, droplet rebound velocity and track the droplet centroid motion. The dynamics of the drop spreading and rebound show similar behavior across a range of ambient pressures with the largest differences observed for wetted versus non-wetted cases (above the Leidenfrost temperature). For both fluids, the onset of drop rebound remains bounded by the saturation temperature (shifting with ambient pressure) and the thermodynamic limit of liquid superheat. This leads to a decrease in the superheat temperature above the saturation point as the critical pressure is approached.


This article is published as Chausalkar, Abhijeet, Chol-Bum M. Kweon, Song-Charng Kong, and James B. Michael. "Leidenfrost behavior in drop-wall impacts at combustor-relevant ambient pressures." International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 153 (2020): 119571. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2020.119571.


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