Simulation and validation of the gas flow in close-coupled gas atomisation process: Influence of the inlet gas pressure and the throat width of the supersonic gas nozzle.
Keywords: 
Gas atomisation
Computational fluid dynamics
Close-couple atomiser
Convergent -divergent gas nozzle
Metals powders
Particle image velocimetry
Issue Date: 
Jul-2022
Publisher: 
Elsevier
ISSN: 
0032-5910
Editorial note: 
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Citation: 
Unionabarrenetxea, E. (Ernesto), Martín, J.M. (José Manuel), Avello-Iturriagagoitia, A.(Alejo), Rivas, A. (Alejandro) "Simulation and validation of the gas flow in close-coupled gas atomisation process: Influence of the inlet gas pressure and the throat width of the supersonic gas nozzle." Powder Technology, 407, 2022, 117688.
Abstract
The effectiveness of a close-coupled gas atomisation process largely depends on the operational and the geometric variables. In this study, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques are used to model and simulate the gas flow in the melt nozzle area for a convergent-divergent, close-coupled gas atomiser in the absence of the melt stream. Firstly, a reference case, in which the atomisation gas is nitrogen at 50 bar and a supersonic gas nozzle with a throat width of L0 has been modelled, is presented. Then, the influence of both the inlet gas pressure and this design parameter are investigated, comparing the numerical results provided by simulations varying the inlet pressure from 5 to 80 bar and modelling different convergent-divergent gas nozzles with throat widths of 0.29 center dot Lo, 0.5 center dot Lo, 0.77 center dot Lo and 2 center dot Lo respectively. The simulation results show how similarly these two parameters modify gas mass flow rates, gas velocity fields, aspiration pressures in the melt delivery tube or the size of the recirculation zones below the melt nozzle. Therefore, it can be stated that this geometric variable of the gas nozzle may be as relevant as the inlet pressure in the atomisation process. The most important novelty of this study is related to experimental validation of the numerical results using the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique and through direct measurements of gas mass flow rates, with a clear correlation between simulated and measured data. Moreover, some results obtained with experimental atomisations using copper and nitrogen are also presented. The experimental results show that finer powders are produced by increasing the

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