Wind Tunnel

The open-loop wind tunnel in the research laboratory at Spraying Systems Co. provides a simple, flexible solution for simulating environmental airflow. Spray nozzles may be evaluated while operating in co-flow, counter-flow, or cross-flow conditions to create a spray environment that is more representative of certain spray applications. 

Wind Tunnel Overview
Wind tunnel test sections have multiple access points and may be outfitted with measurement equipment such as the phase Doppler interferometer (PDI) and laser sheet imaging (LSI) to provide detailed spray characterizations while operating within an active airflow. The air speed within the 10 ft test sections can be adjusted from approximately 5 ft/s to 200 ft/s (1.5 to 60 m/s). Additional details on this facility are available upon request.

Benefits of the Wind TunnelĀ 

Our custom-built wind tunnel is a modular unit which provides steady, uninterrupted airflow for a variety of tests. The wind tunnel comprises a 50 hp belt-driven blower unit followed by flow conditioners, which then contracts to a 2ft x 2ft square cross section. The unit may be outfitted with either a square 2ft x 2ft test section or further reduced to a round 16-inch test section. Both test sections feature multiple access points along the length for mounting of spray manifolds, injectors and high-precision / quality measurement equipment, such as the PDI or LSI instruments.

Examples of Wind Tunnel Testing for Customers

Here are a few examples in which our wind tunnel was used to meet a customer’s unique set of requirements.

  • Cloud Particle Simulation (Icing)
    A customer was searching for nozzles that could emulate cloud particles in their wind tunnel for wing icing simulations. To meet regulations, specified droplet size and volumetric distribution (liquid water content) statistics were required with a uniform pattern within the test section. Research engineers were able to narrow down Spraying Systems Co.’s extensive catalog utilizing the Sympatec laser diffraction instrument in preliminary ambient testing. To match the customer’s operating conditions, the wind tunnel was operated using the 2 ft x 2 ft square test section with an airflow of 60 m/s. Spray characteristics and spray pattern were obtained at the exit of test section using PDI and LSI instruments. The multi-nozzle array combined spray pattern was then evaluated to match the customer’s pre-existing manifold using Spraying Systems Co.’s proprietary Virtual Overlap Analysis (VOA) post-processing software.

  • Gas Conditioning
    An industrial manufacturer was interested in the treatment of a process gas. The customer’s existing treatment involved a low-flow chemical solution atomized with recovered steam. Experiments at Spraying Systems Co. utilized the wind tunnel operating at 200 ft/s with the round test section and a steam generator for the atomization gas source. High-speed video captured spray plume development for the client’s pre-existing injection quill, as well as a variety of our nozzle solutions with comparable flows. Captured videos were then shared with the customer for further analysis and demonstrated very clear atomization and distribution improvements when using the nozzles.

  • Wet Compression
    Wet compression is a technique used to increase the efficiency of a gas turbine by elevating the humidity of the inlet air. Multiple PDI tests were performed with co-flow air using single nozzles to isolate spray pattern, drop size and spray density characteristics. Once the customer’s specifications were met, the selected nozzles were then installed on a manifold to provide proof of concept using the PDI and LSI measurement instruments.

Want to learn more about the characteristics of your spray operations?  Contact us