The atomisation of detergent slurries

  • Colin A. Sudlow

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A study was made to determine the conditions under which the optimum droplet size distribution (ie., narrowest size range with a minimum of fines and over-sized agglomerates), is generated in sprays from centrifugal pressure nozzles. A range of non-Newtonian detergent slurries were tested but the results are of wider application and parallel work was undertaken with water, ionic solutions and chalk slurries. Six centrifugal pressure nozzles were used and the drop-size distributions correlated as a function of fluid properties, pressure, fiowrate, feed temperature, and nozzle characteristics. Measurements were made using a Malvern Particle Size Anayser slung across a specially-designed transparent tower section of approximately 1.2m diameter in order to reduce obscuration caused by the spray and improve existing droplet sizing techniques. The results obtained were based upon the Rosin-Rammler distribution model and the Size Analyser provided a direct print-out of size distribution and the parameters characterising it. A Spraying System nozzle, AAASSTC8-8, produced the optimum spray distribution with the detergent slurry at a temperature of 60°C whilst operating at 1200 psi. With other fluids the Delevan 2.2SJ nozzle produced the optimum spray distribution operating at 1200 psi but with the Spraying Systems nozzles there was no clear-cut optimum set of conditions, ie. the nozzle and pressure varied depending upon the fluid being sprayed. The mechanisms of liquid sheet break-up and droplet dispersion were investigated in specially-constructed, scaled-up, transparent nozzles. A mathematical model of centrifugal pressure nozzle atomisation was developed based upon fundamental operating parameters rather than resorting to empirical correlations. This enabled theoretical predictions to be made over a wide range of operating conditions and nozzle types. The model predictions for volumetric fiowrate, liquid sheet length and air core diameter showed good agreement with the experimentally determined results. However, the model predicted smaller droplet sizes than were produced experimentally due to inaccuracies identified in the initial assumptions.
Date of Award1991
Original languageEnglish


  • atomisation
  • detergent slurries

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