Experimental Investigation of Supercooled Water Droplet Breakup near Leading Edge of Airfoil

Belen Veras-Alba, Jose Palacios, Mario Vargas, Charles Ruggeri, Tadas P. Bartkus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of an experimental study on supercooled droplet deformation and breakup near the leading edge of an airfoil. The results are compared to prior room-temperature droplet deformation results to explore the effects of droplet supercooling. The experiments were conducted in the Adverse Environment Rotor Test Stand at The Pennsylvania State University. An airfoil model placed at the end of the rotor blades mounted onto the hub in the Adverse Environment Rotor Test Stand chamber was moved at speeds ranging between 50 and 80 m∕s. The temperature of the chamber was −20°C. A monotonic droplet generator was used to produce droplets that fell perpendicular to the airfoil path. High-speed imaging was employed to observe the interaction between the droplets and the airfoil. Cases with equal slip and initial velocity were selected for the two environmental conditions. The airfoil velocity was 60 m∕s, and the slip velocity for both sets of data was 40 m∕s. The deformation of the weakly supercooled and warm droplets did not present different trends. The similar behavior for both conditions indicates that water supercooling has no effect on particle deformation for the range of supercooling of the droplets tested and the selected impact velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1970-1984
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Investigation of Supercooled Water Droplet Breakup near Leading Edge of Airfoil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this