Advanced prefilming airblast atomizers are widely used for low emission combustors since they deliver a fine spray almost independently of the fuel flow rate. The droplet spectrum produced by this type of atomizer results from the aerodynamic forces at the atomizer edge and from the fuel properties prior to the film disintegration. Therefore, the wall film temperature is an important parameter affecting the fuel properties and in turn the atomization quality. Even though this atomizer type became well investigated (Lefebvre 1989, Rizk et al. 1987, Sattelmayer et al. 1989), still no general quantitative relationship between atomizer design and spray quality could be established since the fuel state at the atomizer edge cannot be precisely predicted yet.

In extending earlier experimental and theoretical work on airblast atomizers (Sattelmayer et al. 1989, Himmelsbach et al. 1994, Willmann et al. 1997) and recent advances in the numerical modeling of wall film flows (Rosskamp et al. 1997a), this paper presents a numerical approach to judge the effect of fuel mass flow, air flow and the film length (i. e. length of atomizer lip) on the temperature of the liquid at the atomizer edge. The computer code developed provides detailed information on the wall film flow and the nozzle wall temperature. For the prediction of heat transfer to the film a new model has been developed which is based on measurements of the internal film flow (Elsäßer et al 1997).

This new numerical approach can serve as a design tool to evaluate the effects of design modifications during atomizer development with view to their effect on atomization performance. The paper includes the theory for two-phase flow modeling and a generic parameter study that points out that the liquid loading and the length of the atomizer lip are important parameters in atomizer design. The calculations presented in the paper emphasize the necessity of coupled two-phase flow calculations because the film strongly interacts with the gas phase and the predicted atomizer performance is sensitive to changes in the air flow.

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