Experimental and numerical investigation of cavitation in marine Diesel injectors
Journal article, 2021

To further increase the efficiency and decrease emissions of large two-stroke marine Diesel engines, the understanding of the fuel injection, spray breakup and the resulting combustion plays a vital role. Investigations have shown that the strongly asymmetrically and eccentrically arranged nozzle bores of the fuel injectors can lead to undesirable spray deflections that provoke increased component temperatures, emissions and fuel consumption. In order to investigate the origin of these spray deviations, transparent nozzles have been used to qualitatively visualize the in-nozzle flow under realistic geometrical and fuel pressure conditions. Three different, 0.75 mm diameter, single-hole nozzle geometries that represent typical geometrical characteristics have been used in cavitating nozzle flow experiments. The optical measurement technique Shadowgraphy has been applied to visualize the in-nozzle flow over the complete fuel injection process. The experiments have been performed with Diesel fuel at a rail pressure of 50 MPa with ambient back-pressure and temperature. Impingement measurements have been executed to compare the nozzle performance and validate CFD simulations using URANS with cavitation modeling in order to provide qualitative and quantitative support to the experimental results. The volume of fluid (VOF) method has been applied to simulate the multiphase flow with High Resolution Interface Capturing (HRIC). The cavitation model is based on a flash-boiling method with rapid heat transfer between the liquid and vapor phases. A Homogeneous Relaxation Model (HRM) has been utilized to describe the rate at which the instantaneous quality, the mass fraction of vapor in a two-phase mixture, will approach its equilibrium value. The numerical modeling of the cavitation inside the nozzle bore and the evaluated momentum flux have been compared to the experimental findings and show good agreement for the qualitative comparison of the cavitation patterns and differences of less than 6% for the quantitative momentum flux comparison.


Large marine diesel engine

In-nozzle flow


Fuel injection


Reto Balz

Winterthur Gas and Diesel Ltd.

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Combustion and Propulsion Systems

Imre Gergely Nagy

Winterthur Gas and Diesel Ltd.

National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)

German Weisser

Winterthur Gas and Diesel Ltd.

David Sedarsky

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Combustion and Propulsion Systems

International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

0017-9310 (ISSN)

Vol. 169 120933

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Chemical Process Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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Latest update

2/4/2021 1