Mass, momentum, and energy transfer in supersonic aerosol deposition processes

Chenxi Li, Narendra Singh, Austin Andrews, Bernard A. Olson, Thomas E Schwartzentruber, Chris Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aerosol deposition (AD) can lead to the formation of dense coatings via deposition of particles from a gas flow; in AD the aerosol is passed through a converging-diverging nozzle, facilitating inertial particle impaction on a desired substrate at supersonic particle velocities. Unique from thermal spray methods, AD can be applied near room temperature and unique from cold spray, in AD the aerosol is typically at atmospheric pressure upstream of the nozzle. Though AD has been successfully demonstrated previously, a number of aspects related to particle motion in AD systems remain poorly understood. In this work, we simulated compressible flow field profiles and particle trajectories for typical AD working conditions for a slit type converging-diverging nozzle with a planar substrate. In examining the fluid flow profile, we show that the velocity and pressure profiles, as well as the shock structure are sensitive to the upstream and downstream operating pressures of the nozzle. These ultimately affect particle impaction speed. Importantly, in AD, the particle drag regime is dynamic; both particle Knudsen numbers and Mach numbers can vary by orders of magnitude. To aid particle trajectory simulations, we trained a neural network to predict the drag force on the particles based on existing experimental data, theoretical limits, and new direct simulation Monte Carlo (DMSC) results. The neural network based drag law, which depends upon both Mach and Knudsen numbers, shows better agreement with the DSMC simulation data than pre-existing correlations. With it, particle trajectory simulation results reveal that for a given particle density, there exists an optimal particle diameter to maximize particle impaction speed. We also find that in AD particles undergo size dependent inertial focusing, i.e. there is a particular particle diameter where the particle deposition linewidth is minimized. Particles smaller than this diameter are underfocused, and particles larger than this are overfocused, and hence have larger deposition linewidths in both cases. Using trajectory simulations, we additionally developed a framework that can be used to evaluate the position-dependent mass, momentum and kinetic energy fluxes to the deposition substrate for any aerosol size distribution function upstream of the nozzle. It is shown for typical aerosol concentrations achievable in the laboratory, the kinetic energy flux can approach a magnitude normally observed in convective heat transfer with phase change, hence translational kinetic energy to thermal energy transfer in AD is likely a key contributor to the formation of dense coatings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1171
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the ARPA-E IDEAS Program .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Aerosol deposition
  • Converging-diverging nozzle
  • Direct simulation Monte Carlo
  • Inertial focusing
  • Inertial impaction


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