Precise control of the spray behavior is key to fully realize the potential benefits of modern GDI engines. Flash boiling is known to alert the spray behavior significantly; and thus, a complete understanding of its mechanism is essential. In this work, a study of the effect of the fuel properties on the near-nozzle flow characteristics of a single-hole GDI injector under the flash boiling conditions is presented. The performance of hexane and a typical gasoline surrogate iso-octane has been studied both experimentally and numerically. Fuel temperature varied from 20 and 100 °C with ambient pressures of 20, 50 and 100 kPa. For the experiment, microscopic imaging was conducted with a high-speed camera coupled with a long-distance microscope; and a convex lens was used to provide enough illumination to the interested area. The numerical studies were performed at the maximum needle lift using OpenFOAM, an open-source Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code. Phase change was captured with the Homogeneous Relaxation Model (HRM); and turbulence was modeled using RNG k–ε model. The results have shown that while the near-field flow behavior of hexane and isooctane was similar under ambient conditions, a significant difference was observed between the two under the flash boiling conditions. The onset and development of flash boiling of isooctane was retarded compared to hexane due to its much lower vapor pressure. Spray contraction has been observed in the down-stream due to fuel vaporization and air entrainment. The CFD results were shown to agree well with the experimental data.

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