The flow and breakup characteristics of water jets issuing from rectangular and elliptical injectors into still atmosphere were experimentally compared. Injectors were of the same cross-sectional area and a circular injector was also employed as the reference case. Digital images taken by a diffused backlight technique were processed to extract the main characteristics of the jet column at different jet velocities. The measurements were carried out for mass flow rates varying from 2 L/h to 120 L/h with small enough steps at low speeds to capture Rayleigh regime. Aside from the qualitative description of the jet flows, stability curve was plotted to make a comparison between different jets. The comparison revealed that the ellipse jet is the first one to reach the critical Weber number, while the circular jet remains laminar at higher velocities than the other two jets. Moreover, axis-switching phenomenon was carefully studied as the common characteristic of rectangular and elliptical jets. The wavelength and maximum amplitude of axis-switching were measured at different flow conditions and the results were compared. Though the axis-switching wavelength of both jets demonstrated a linear increment with Weber number, the rectangular jet was found to increase with a higher slope. Furthermore, the non-dimensional maximum amplitude of axis-switching showed an approximate behavior.

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