• coating flows;
  • complex fluids;
  • computational fluid dynamics;
  • particulate flows;
  • particle technology


Thermal spray coatings produced from a liquid feedstock are receiving an increasing level of interest due to the advanced, nanostructured coatings which are obtainable by these processes. In this article, a high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) thermal spray system is computationally investigated to make a scientific assessment of the liquid droplet behavior on injection. An existing liquid-fuelled HVOF thermal spray gun is simulated using the computational fluid dynamic approach. The steady-state gas-phase dynamics are initialized by the introduction of liquid kerosene and oxygen which react within the combustion chamber producing a realistic compressible, turbulent jet. Discrete-phase water droplets are injected at the powder injection port. On injection, the water droplets breakup and vaporize, while being entrained through the acceleration barrel of the HVOF system. The results obtained give an insight to the mechanism which control the water droplet sizes and disintegration process, and serve as a fundamental reference for future development of liquid feedstock devices. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012