Ultra-high speed visualization of a flash-boiling jet in a low-pressure environment

Tariq Al-Ghamdi, Sigurdur T Thoroddsen, Jose Federico Hernandez Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We visualize the flash-boiling atomization of liquid jets released into a low-pressure environment at frame rates of up to five million frames per second using a long distance microscope. Such temporal resolution allowed us to capture the details of the bubble expansion mechanism, responsible for the jet atomization, for the first time. We document an abrupt transition from a laminar to a fully external flashing jet by systematically reducing the ambient pressure. We perform experiments with different volatile liquids, ejected through micro-nozzles with different inner diameters. Surprisingly, minimum pixel intensity projections revealed spray angles close to θs ∼  360° and speeds of bubble expansion up to 140 m/s. Particle tracking shows that ejected droplets achieve speeds much larger than the jet velocity and drop sizes order of magnitude smaller than the diameter of the nozzle. Furthermore, hole growth speeds measured on the bubbles film in combination with to Taylor-Culick predictions suggests that the smallest droplet sizes are on the hundreds of nanometer or submicron range, which contravenes the general belief that flash-boiling atomization results in uniform drop sizes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-255
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
StatePublished - Aug 29 2018

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KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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