Similarity solutions for the evolution of polydisperse droplets in vortex flows Academic Article uri icon


  • A new mathematical analysis of the dynamics of evaporating sprays in the vicinity of a vortex flow field is presented. The governing equations for a polydisperse spray evaporating in an unsteady viscous vortex flow are formulated using the sectional approach. First, new similarity solutions are found for the dynamics of the spray in a mono-sectional framework. It is shown that similarity for the droplets’ drag term exists, and an explicit model for the drag is found using perturbation theory. Numerical simulations are conducted to validate the main assumptions of the analytic approach adopted in this study. An extension of the mono-sectional solution of the spray equations to a polydisperse spray solution is then derived and the dynamics of polydisperse spray in an Oseen type vortex are presented. It is shown that for a given radial location, the droplets in each section reach a maximal radial velocity due to the effect of vorticity. A simple model is derived for the prediction of this maximal radial velocity of the droplets using perturbation theory, which agrees very well with the full similarity solution. The present study shows that spray dynamics is highly affected by the droplets’ size, but also by the spray initial size distribution, even when the same Sauter mean diameter is considered. This may have far reaching implications, especially in spray combustion applications.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017