Experimental Observations on the Deformation and Breakup of Water Droplets Near the Leading Edge of an Airfoil (English)

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This work presents the results of an experimental study on droplet deformation and breakup near the leading edge of an airfoil. The experiment was conducted in the rotating rig test cell at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial (INTA) in Madrid, Spain. An airfoil model placed at the end of the rotating arm was moved at speeds of 50 to 90 m/sec. A monosize droplet generator was employed to produce droplets that were allowed to fall from above, perpendicular to the path of the airfoil at a given location. High speed imaging was employed to observe the interaction between the droplets and the airfoil. The high speed imaging allowed observation of droplet deformation and breakup as the droplet approached the airfoil near the stagnation line. A tracking software program was used to measure from the high speed movies the horizontal and vertical displacement of the droplet against time. The velocity, acceleration, Weber number, Bond number, Reynolds number, and the drag coefficients were calculated along the path of a given droplet from beginning of deformation to breakup and/or hitting the airfoil. Results are presented for droplets with a diameter of 490 micrometers at airfoil speeds of 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 m/sec