A consistent theoretical model is proposed and validated for calculating droplet diameters and size distributions. The model is derived based on the energy conservation law including the surface free energy and the Laplace pressure. Under several hypotheses, the law derives an equation indicating that atomization results from kinetic energy loss. Thus, once the amount of loss is determined, the droplet diameter is able to be calculated without the use of experimental parameters. When the effects of ambient gas are negligible, injection velocity profiles of liquid jets are the essential cause of the reduction of kinetic energy. The minimum Sauter mean diameter produced by liquid sheet atomization is inversely proportional to the injection Weber number when the injection velocity profiles are laminar or turbulent. A non-dimensional distribution function is also derived from the mean diameter model and Nukiyama-Tanasawa’s function. The new estimation methods are favorably validated by comparing with corresponding mean diameters and the size distributions, which are experimentally measured under atmospheric pressure.

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