Predicting details of aircraft engine combustion by means of numerical simulations requires reliable information about spray characteristics from liquid fuel injection. However, details of liquid fuel injection are not well documented. Indeed, standard droplet distributions are usually utilized in Euler-Lagrange simulations of combustion. Typically, airblast injectors are employed to atomize the liquid fuel by feeding a thin liquid film in the shear zone between two swirled air flows. Unfortunately, droplet data for the wide range of operating conditions during a flight is not available.
Focusing on numerical simulations, Direct Numerical simulations (DNS) of full nozzle designs are nowadays out of scope. Reducing numerical costs, but still considering the full nozzle flow, the embedded DNS methodology (eDNS) has been introduced within a Volume of Fluid framework (Sauer et al., Atomization and Sprays, vol. 26, pp. 187–215, 2016). Thereby, DNS domain is kept as small as possible by reducing it to the primary breakup zone. It is then embedded in a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of the turbulent nozzle flow. This way, realistic turbulent scales of the nozzle flow are included, when simulating primary breakup. Previous studies of a generic atomizer configuration proved that turbulence in the gaseous flow has significant impact on liquid disintegration and should be included in primary breakup simulations (Warncke et al., ILASS Europe, Paris, 2019).
In this contribution, an industrial airblast atomizer is numerically investigated for the first time using the eDNS approach. The complete nozzle geometry is simulated, considering all relevant features of the flow. Three steps are necessary: 1. LES of the gaseous nozzle flow until a statistically stationary flow is reached. 2. Position and refinement of the DNS domain. Due to the annular nozzle design the DNS domain is chosen as a ring. It comprises the atomizing edge, where the liquid is brought between inner and outer air flow, and the downstream primary breakup zone. 3. Start of liquid fuel injection and primary breakup simulation. Since the simulation of the two-phase DNS and the LES of the surrounding nozzle flow are conducted at the same time, turbulent scales of the gas flow are directly transferred to the DNS domain.
The applicability of eDNS to full nozzle designs is demonstrated and details of primary breakup at the nozzle outlet are presented. In particular a discussion of the phenomenological breakup process and spray characteristics is provided.