Monday, January 28, 2008

Ultrafast X-ray study of dense-liquid-jet flow dynamics using structure-tracking velocimetry

Yujie Wang1, Xin Liu2, Kyoung-Su Im1, Wah-Keat Lee1, Jin Wang1, Kamel Fezzaa1, David L. S. Hung3 & James R. Winkelman3

1. X-Ray Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA
2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA
3. Visteon Corporation, Van Buren Township, Michigan 48111, USA

Nature Physics. doi:10.1038/nphys840

High-speed liquid jets and sprays are complex multiphase flow phenomena with many important industrial applications. Great efforts have been devoted to understand their dynamics since the pioneering work of Rayleigh on low-speed jets. Attempts to use conventional laser optical techniques to provide information about the internal structure of high-speed jets have been unsuccessful owing to the multiple scattering by droplets and interfaces, and the high density of the jet near the nozzle exit. Focused-X-ray-beam absorption measurements could provide only average quantitative density distributions using repeated imaging. Here, we report a novel approach on the basis of ultrafast synchrotron-X-ray full-field phase-contrast imaging. As illustrated in our case study, this technique reveals, for the first time, instantaneous velocity and internal structure of optically dense sprays with a combined unprecedented spatial and time resolution. This technique has tremendous potential for the study of transient phenomenon dynamics.

The X-ray beam is generated from the electron storage ring. The fill pattern shown is the hybrid-singlet mode: a single electron bunch (150 ps long and carrying 15 mA of current) is separated from a longer train of electrons (472 ns long, 94 mA) by a 1.59 mus gap on both sides. The fast shutter absorbs more than 99% of the beam power, and lets the beam through for a few milliseconds at 1 Hz. The sample image is formed on a fast scintillator crystal (LYSO:Ce) and read on a CCD (charge-coupled device) camera via a microscope objective and a mirror at 45° angle. The inset shows the APS undulator-A energy spectrum at 31 mm gap on a logarithmic scale. The fundamental sharp peak at 13.3 keV is 100 times brighter than the harmonics.

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