The design and performance of a new pulse-expansion wave tube for nucleation studies at high pressures are described. The pulse-expansion wave tube is a special shock tube in which a nucleation pulse is formed at the endwall of the high pressure section. The nucleation pulse is due to reflections of the initial shock wave at a local widening situated in the low pressure section at a short distance from the diaphragm. The nucleation pulse has a duration of the order of 200 μs, while nucleation pressures that can be achieved range from 1 to 50 bar total pressure. Droplet size and droplet number density can accurately be determined by a 90°-Mie light scattering method and a light extinction method. The range of nucleation rates that can be measured is 108 cm-3 s-1<J<1011 cm-3 s-1. We will illustrate the functioning and possibilities of the new pulse-expansion wave tube by nucleation rate measurements in the gas-vapour mixture nitrogen/water in the temperature range 200–260 K, and in the mixture methane/n-nonane as a function of supersaturation S at various total pressures up to 40 bar and temperatures around 240 K.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 1997
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