Eight different multi-hole fuel injectors with nominally the same exterior geometry (8-hole, 60 degree circular symmetric spray pattern) but different levels of development (Generation I and Generation II), length-to-diameter (L/D) ratios (1.4 to 2.4), and manufacturing processes (EDM vs. laser drilled) are compared in a spray-guided, spark-ignition direct injection (SG-SIDI) single-cylinder optical engine. In-cylinder pressure measurements and exhaust emission measurements quantified effects of different injectors on combustion and emissions. Crank-angle-resolved white-light spray imaging and simultaneous flame and soot visualization quantified variations in spray structure, combustion propagation, and soot formation and oxidation.

At a single operating condition (2000rpm, 95kPa inlet pressure, 90°C engine temperature, end of injection timing (EOI) @ 36 BTDC, spark advance (SA) @ 36 BTDC, 8.1mg/injection), all eight injectors have nearly the same IMEP (about 270kPa) and engine-out gaseous emissions. Experiments show that laser drilled injectors with lower L/D ratios (L/D = 1.4–2.0) have a totally collapsed fuel spray structure, a more penetrating liquid spray with severe fuel impingement on the piston, and rapidly-forming soot deposits on the piston. The collapsed, more compact fuel spray vaporized more slowly and the resulting rich zones led to strong soot luminosity. In contrast, the laser drilled injector with the highest L/D ratio (2.4) and the two EDM injectors (Generation I and Generation II with L/D = 2.0) show 8 distinct spray plumes, less fuel impingement, and much less soot emission intensity. Image analysis tools developed in Matlab were used to characterize the flame propagation and soot formation processes.

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