The influence of initial liquid film thickness on mean drop size and drop-size distribution was examined using two specially designed airblast atomizers. Both were constructed to produce a flat liquid sheet across the centerline of a two-dimensional air duct with the liquid sheet exposed on both sides to high velocity air. In one case a thin film of uniform thickness was produced by injecting the liquid through a porous plate located just upstream of the atomizing edge. The film thickness, t, was then measured by a needle contact device. In the second design the fuel entered the air stream through a thin slot whose height could be adjusted accurately to vary and control the initial film thickness. Drop sizes were measured by the well-established light-scattering technique. From analysis of the processes involved, and from correlation of the experimental data, it was found that high values of liquid viscosity and liquid flow rate result in thicker films. It was also observed that thinner liquid films produce better atomization, according to the relationship, SMD ∝ t0.38.

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