Disintegration of large balls of water-based liquids in free fall through high-temperature gases

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17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an experimental study of the transformation (i.e., deformation and disintegration) of liquid balls in free fall through a gaseous environment at temperatures from 300 to 1100 K. The experiments involve the use of the following liquids: water, NaCl solution, and a suspension with carbon particles; the initial volume of liquid balls ranges from 0.05 l to 1 l.We apply high-speed video cameras, Phantom V411 and PhantomMiroM310 (up to 6 × 105 frames per second), and Tema Automotive software, providing the ability to track objects continuously. The study establishes the mechanism of deformation and disintegration of liquid balls. The following factors influence characteristics of these processes: the initial volume of liquid balls, their component composition, the velocity of the side airflow (wind), and the temperature of gases (i.e., air and combustion products). In addition, the Weber numbers are determined for the transitions between the transformation stages of the liquid balls. The determination of Weber numbers is necessary for illustrating the limiting conditions at which the breakup of liquid balls and the transition from one stage of deformation to another occur. The research illustrates the limitations of an increase in transverse and longitudinal sizes of liquid balls during deformation under conditions corresponding to extinguishing fires. The results substantiate the necessity of spraying water for covering a larger fire area. In the case of the local water discharge, batches of liquids transform to clouds consisting of droplets with small transverse sizes even after falling several dozens of meters. Combustion products heated up to high temperatures essentially decelerate a transition from the monolithic ball of water to the droplet cloud and limit its transverse size. This limitation is associated with the intensive evaporation and the formation of buffer vapor zones between combustion products and the droplet cloud.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-911
Number of pages19
JournalAtomization and Sprays
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • High-temperature gases
  • Liquid ball
  • Solution
  • Suspension
  • Transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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