Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


An Experimental Study on the Spray and Thermal Characteristics of R134a Two-Phase Flashing Spray

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-2012


Flashing spray of volatile liquids is a common phenomenon observed in many industrial applications such as fuel injection of engines, accidental release of flammable and toxic pressure-liquefied gases, failure of a vessel or pipe in the form of a small hole in chemical industry, and cryogenic spray cooling in laser dermatology, etc. In flashing spray, the volatile liquid is depressurized rapidly at the exit of a nozzle (or a hole in a vessel) and becomes superheated. Such superheated liquid (in the form of either a jet or droplets) will lead to explosive atomization with fine droplet and a short spray distance. This paper presents an experimental investigation to the spray and thermal characteristics of flashing spray using cryogen R134a. A photographic study of the spray is firstly conducted to visualize the spray formation and the dynamic characteristics of the spray. Afterwards, the spray characteristics are measured by the phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA). The distributions of the diameter reveals the dramatic dynamic variation of the liquid droplets due to explosive atomization of large droplets in the region near the exit of nozzle, while the self-similar velocity profiles are fitted by two empirical correlations to describe the non-dimensional axial and radial velocities, respectively. The temperature field within the spray is measured by a small thermocouple. The temperature measurements provide detailed quantitative information of both radial and axial temperature distributions of droplets within the spray. These experimental results provide deep understanding into the whole characteristics of two-phase flashing spray of volatile liquids.

Publication Title

International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer





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