How is a spray formed?

A black and white microscopic image of a long triangular sheet of clear rippling liquid fragmenting into droplets at the wider edge of the triangle

Sprays are common in a wide variety of natural and technological processes. Studying sprays brings an insight into the phenomenon and helps to develop technologies, for example, to facilitate decarbonising of transport or optimise asthma inhaler to ensure consistent and correct dosage.
The photo depicts a near-nozzle region of a water spray. Water exits a nozzle, forms a liquid sheet, which then breaks into ligaments and droplets. The photo is taken at 5000 frames per second rate and using a long-distance microscope lens, the width of the spray is XX mm. This enables visualisation of details helping to describe the breakup and formation of droplets. Flow instabilities create waves and ripples on the liquid sheet. These waves grow to form ‘legs’ on the edges and holes in the middle due to thinning of the liquid sheet. After which, the liquid sheet completely disintegrates and turns into a spray.

School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering

Lead supervisor: Oyuna Rybdylova