Influence of Diesel Fuel Viscosity on Cavitating Throttle Flow Simulations under Erosive Operation Conditions

This work investigates the effect of liquid fuel viscosity, as specific by the European Committee for Standardization 2009 (European Norm) for all automotive fuels, on the predicted cavitating flow in micro-orifice flows. The wide range of viscosities allowed leads to a significant variation in orifice nominal Reynolds numbers for the same pressure drop across the orifice. This in turn, is found to affect flow detachment and the formation of large-scale vortices and microscale turbulence. A pressure-based compressible solver is used on the filtered Navier–Stokes equations using the multifluid approach; separate velocity fields are solved for each phase, which share a common pressure. The rates of evaporation and condensation are evaluated with a simplified model based on the Rayleigh–Plesset equation; the coherent structure model is adopted for the subgrid scale modeling in the momentum conservation equation. The test case simulated is a well-reported benchmark throttled flow channel geometry, referred to as “I-channel”; this has allowed for easy optical access for which flow visualization and laser-induced fluorescence measurements allowed for validation of the developed methodology. Despite its simplicity, the I-channel geometry is found to reproduce the most characteristic flow features prevailing in high-speed flows realized in cavitating fuel injectors. Subsequently, the effect of liquid viscosity on integral mass flow, velocity profiles, vapor cavity distribution, and pressure peaks indicating locations prone to cavitation erosion is reported.