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An experimental investigation of Newtonian and non-Newtonian spray interaction with a moving surface Dressler, Daniel Mervin


As a logical extension of previous work conducted into viscoelastic atomization, initially motivated by the need to improve spray coating transfer efficiencies, an experimental investigation into the spray-surface interaction for a number of Newtonian and non-Newtonian substitute test liquids is presented. Three model elastic liquids of varying polymer molecular weight and three inelastic liquids of varying shear viscosity were sprayed upon a moving surface to isolate the effect of elasticity and shear viscosity, respectively, on spray impaction behavior In addition, two liquids exhibiting shear thinning behavior and an industrial top of rail liquid friction modifier, KELTRACK ®, for use in the railroad industry, were included in the spray tests. High-speed photography was used to examine the impingement of these liquids on the surface. Ligaments, formed as a consequence of a liquid’s viscoelasticity, were observed impacting the surface for 300K PEO, 1000K PEO, and KELTRACK. These ligaments were broadly classified into four groups, based on their structure. Splashing of elastic liquid ligaments and droplets led to filamentary structures being expelled from the droplet periphery, which were then carried away by the atomizing air jet, leading to reductions in transfer efficiency. The effect of increasing elasticity amongst the three varying molecular weight elastic solutions was shown to increase the splash threshold, a similar effect was noted with increasing shear viscosity. Attempts were made at quantifying a critical splash-deposition limit for all test liquids however due to imaging system limitations, no quantitative conclusions could be made. For KELTRACK, both droplets and ligaments spread and deposited on the rail surface upon impact, with no observed splash or rebound. Splash was only noted when droplets impinged directly on a previously deposited liquid film and even then, splashing was well contained. Thus, KELTRACK’s current rheological formulation proved to be very effective in ensuring high coating transfer efficiencies.

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