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Droplet Generation by Disintegration of Oil Films at the Rim of a Rotating Disk

[+] Author Affiliations
A. Glahn, M. F. Blair

UTRC, East Hartford, CT

S. Busam, S. Wittig

Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

K. L. Allard

Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, CT

Paper No. 2000-GT-0279, pp. V003T01A083; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2000: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 3: Heat Transfer; Electric Power; Industrial and Cogeneration
  • Munich, Germany, May 8–11, 2000
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7856-9
  • Copyright © 2000 by ASME


A fundamental study has been performed to examine oil film disintegration mechanisms at the rim of a rotating disk. The configuration investigated is an abstraction of one of the droplet generation sources in an aero-engine bearing compartment. The paper aims to contribute to both the determination of directly applicable droplet characteristics and the establishment of a data-base that can be used for the development of droplet generation models. The near-term objectives of the study are (i) to identify disintegration modes relevant with respect to aero-engine bearing compartment operating conditions, (ii) to determine droplet sizes under those operating conditions, and (iii) to measure individual droplet diameter/velocity relationships. The long-term objective is to incorporate this information into advanced CFD-based design tools.

The disintegration modes identified here were similar to previously reported flow regimes generated by rotary atomizers (Lefebvre, 1989). However, slightly different transition characteristics are documented for the turbine oil considered here, indicating a transition occurring at either higher speeds or higher flow rates. Droplet diameters and velocities are presented for relevant bearing compartment conditions. In this mode, droplet diameters appear to be insensitive to the volume flow rate, but show a finer atomization for increasing rotational speeds. Eventually a speed is reached beyond which no further droplet diameter reduction is obtained. For the first time, size class resolved droplet velocities are presented. A variation of operating parameters at a constant radial location does not have a significant impact on either the normalized droplet velocity or the flow angle. Radial traverses show a decrease of the droplet velocity with increasing distance from the rim of the disk and a transition from a more tangentially orientated droplet trajectory to a more radial motion.

Copyright © 2000 by ASME
Topics: Drops , Rotating Disks



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