Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Numerical study of droplet formation with nozzle dynamics and multiple droplet impingement Public Deposited

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  • Droplet formation from a flexible nozzle plate driven by a prescribed-waveform excitation of a piezoelectric is numerically investigated using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model with the VOF method. The droplet generator with a flexible nozzle plate, which is free to vibrate due to the pressure acting on the plate, is modeled in a computational domain. The CFD analysis includes the fluid-structure interaction between fluid and a flexible plate using large deflection theory. The problem is characterized by the nondimensional variables based on the capillary parameters of time, velocity, and pressure. The CFD model is validated with experiment results. This study examines the characteristics of the applied waveforms and nozzle plate material properties to change the vibrational characteristics of the nozzle plate. The effect of fluid properties on the droplet formation process is also investigated focusing on surface tension and viscous forces. The mechanism of the droplet formation excited by a drop-on-demand piezoelectric waveform is investigated using a step-function and a pulse waveform. The piezoelectric displacement plays an important role in generating either forward-driven momentum or a suction pressure inside the chamber. For the step-function waveform, the nondimensional applied impulse is defined and used to characterize the post-breakoff droplet volume. Increasing the impulse of the piezoelectric can be used to cause a faster droplet velocity and it is shown that the vibration of the nozzle plate has a strong effect on the droplet velocity, shape, and volume. Surface tension has strong influence on the droplet formation characteristics which is in contrast to a viscous force that makes little difference on the droplet formation for a range of viscosities studied. For the combination of a fluid with high surface tension and the most flexible nozzle plate, this system can cause the droplet not to be ejected from the nozzle. Successive droplet impingement onto a solid surface is numerically investigated using a CFD multiphase flow model (VOF method). The main focus of this study is to better understand the hydrodynamics of the non-splash impingement process, particularly the effect of a dynamic contact angle and fluid properties along with the interaction between successive droplets while they are impinging onto a solid surface. The pre-impact droplet conditions are prescribed based on a spherical droplet diameter, velocity, and inter-droplet spacing. The molecular kinetic theory is used to model the dynamic contact angle as a function of a contact line velocity. The numerical scheme is validated against experiment al results. In the impact spreading and receding processes, results are analyzed to determine the nondimensional deformation characteristics of both single and successive droplet impingements with the variation of fluid properties such as surface tension and dynamic viscosity. These characteristics include spreading ratio, spreading velocity, and a dynamic contact angle. The inclusion of a dynamic contact angle is shown to have a major effect on droplet spreading. In successive droplet impingement, the second drop causes a surge of spreading velocity and contact angle with an associate complex recirculating flow near the contact line after it initially impacts the preceding droplet when it is in an advancing condition. This interaction is less dramatic when the first drop is receding or stationary. The surface tension has the most effect on the maximum spreading radius in both single and successive droplet impingements. In contrast to this, the viscosity directly affects the damping of the spreading-receding process.
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