An experimental study has been conducted to investigate the interaction between the conical spray produced by simplex atomizer and the swirling flow from an axial swirler. This work has been carried out in an unconfined ambience at isothermal conditions, using water. Malvern spray analyzer with a three dimensional traverse is used to characterize the swirling flow and spray interactions at various axial and radial locations. Images of spray at different conditions of air and water mass flow rates have been analyzed. Increasing the air mass flow through swirler at constant water flow rate, changes the spray structure significantly. These structural changes are sudden and highly dependent on the initial conditions of the spray. At smaller air flow rates, single-mode droplet size distribution at mid-plane changes into a bi-modal distribution at an air flow rate of about 35 kg/hr, with higher contribution of larger droplets. With further increase in air flow rate (90, 110 and 130 kg/hr), the bi-modal size distribution is maintained but with a larger volumetric fraction of small droplets. At different axial distances, the droplet size distributions are similar (single mode and bimodal distributions depending on air flow rate). But volume percentage of larger droplets is less compared to those of smaller droplets, at larger axial distance. At outer radial locations of the spray, volume percentage of larger droplets reduces and that of smaller droplets increases significantly, due to secondary droplet breakup. The interaction between the swirl and spray causes droplets to move radially outwards, resulting in droplet break-up by impact on the dome. Cases with higher air to water flow ratios exhibit significant changes in drop size distribution due to such swirl-spray interactions.

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