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Atomization and Sprays

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ISSN Print: 1044-5110
ISSN Online: 1936-2684

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Atomization and Sprays

DOI: 10.1615/AtomizSpr.v19.i11.50
pages 1065-1104

FUNDAMENTAL CLASSIFICATION OF ATOMIZATION PROCESSES

Malissa Lightfoot
Air Force Research Laboratory, USA

ABSTRACT

A device-independent framework to classify and describe atomization is developed. This framework divides atomizers into various classes based on the geometry of the liquid prior to breakup. These classes are general enough to encompass a wide array of existent atomizers while still describing important aspects of the atomization physics. Across these classes, a limited number of atomization regimes exist that are grouped based on the rate of the atomization processes (disturbance growth and breakdown). Existent classifications are reconsidered to show how they fit into the current construction of five classes (jet, sheet, film, prompt, and discrete parcel) and three modes (bulk fluid, mixed, and surface). The new framework also clarifies the underlying physics of the atomization process. This process consists of the initiation and growth of a disturbance, followed by its breakdown. Several categories of disturbance initiation and disturbance breakdown are described, supported by examples from the literature.