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Numerical investigation on the performance and anti-freezing design verification of atomization equipment in an icing cloud simulation system


Aircraft icing occurs when flying through the cloud containing supercooled water droplets or ice crystals, posing a threat to flight safety. To simulate the natural icing environment, a climatic environmental test facility was designed, in which atomization equipment was utilized to spray micro-sized water droplets. To optimize and provide a reference design for the atomization equipment, a numerical study on its performance and anti-freezing design verification was carried out. The developed model was successfully validated with the maximum experimental ice thickness and its outlined shape on the test rod, with the error of maximum ice thickness at only 2.6%. The maximum deviation and mean deviation are at 1.13 mm and 0.68 mm, respectively. Freeze protection was finally enabled by ensuring the supplement temperature of the water, as well as the air in pipes, higher than 28.85 °C. Results suggested the best position for the test, at 2 m upstream of the nozzle outlet. The water flow temperature at the nozzle outlet was 29.45 °C higher than the freezing point. As a validated and applicable method, this study shows its novelty and practical value in the development of the climatic environmental test facility.

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\(A_{\text{d}}\) :

The droplet area (m2)

\(\vec{F}\) :

Additional force (N)

\(\vec{g}\) :

Gravity acceleration of droplet (m s−2)

\(h\) :

The convective heat transfer coefficient (W m−2 °C−1)

\(L_{\text{d}}\) :

The water latent heat of phase change (J)

\(m_{d}\) :

The droplet mass (kg)

\(Nu\) :

The ratio of convective to conductive heat transfer across (normal to) the boundary

\(Sh\) :

The ratio of the convective mass transfer to the rate of diffusive mass transport

\(T_{\text{a}}\) :

The air temperature (°C)

\(T_{\text{d}}\) :

The droplet temperature (°C)

\(\vec{u}\) :

The airflow velocity (m s−1)

\(\vec{u}_{\text{d}}\) :

The droplet velocity (m s−1)

\(\rho\) :

The airflow density (kg m−3)

\(\rho_{\text{d}}\) :

The density of the droplet (kg m−3)

\(\rho_{\infty }\) :

The vapor density in the bulk gas (kg m−3)

\(\rho_{\text{s}}\) :

The vapor density at the droplet surface (kg m−3)

\(\tau_{\text{r}}\) :

The droplet relaxation time (s)

\(\beta\) :

The convection mass transfer coefficient (m s−1)


Climatic environmental test facility


Discrete phase model


Liquid water content


Medium volume diameter


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This work was financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 11372026 & 11672024) and the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2015CB755803).

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Correspondence to Shinan Chang or Mengjie Song.

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Deng, H., Chang, S. & Song, M. Numerical investigation on the performance and anti-freezing design verification of atomization equipment in an icing cloud simulation system. J Therm Anal Calorim 141, 131–143 (2020).

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  • Numerical study
  • Aircraft icing
  • Icing cloud simulation system
  • Atomization equipment
  • Freeze protection
  • Ice thickness