Advanced Powder Technology, Vol.30, No.11, 2726-2732, 2019
Numerical simulation of high-pressure gas atomization of two-phase flow: Effect of gas pressure on droplet size distribution
This paper deals with the physics of high-pressure gas atomization in metal powder production. To gain understanding of the effect of gas pressure on droplet size distribution, a numerical two-phase flow study is performed using Eulerian-Eulerian Volume of Fluid (VOF) interface tracking method. Annular-slit, close-coupled gas atomizer is considered to atomize molten aluminum using nitrogen as the atomizing gas. Four cases with different gas pressures are considered, while geometry and other operational parameters are fixed. Characteristics of several interfacial instabilities have been identified at different stages of the atomization process. Despite the increment in the rate of the atomization with the increasing gas pressure, deformation characteristics and the breakup mechanisms remain unchanged. Droplet size and the cumulative volume distributions indicate that the effectiveness of the atomization process increases with the elevating gas pressure. Cumulative volume obtained from the numerical simulations at low gas pressures display similar trends to the experimental results. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.