In a gas turbine engine combustor, combustion performance is tied to the spatial distribution of the fuel injected into the dome. Swirl cup, as an air blast atomizer, is widely used to provide a uniform presentation of fuel droplets to the combustor dome. In this paper, two swirl cups with different venturi angle have been studied: case 1 (with narrow venturi angle) and case 2 (with wide venturi angle). Kerosene is injected to the test domain through a simplex nozzle. The spatial distribution of droplet characteristics produced by the two swirl cups were measured using dual-phase Doppler anemometry (PDA). A single cup combustor has been built in order to characterize the swirl cups’ ignition phenomena. Spark ignition test has been performed for ground condition, two swirl cups’ lean ignition limits are obtained, and ignition sequences have been recorded by a high-speed video camera. Comparing the two swirl cups’ small droplets velocity, case 1 swirl cup produces a different velocity profile from typical swirl cup. The air stream outflowing from case 1 swirl cup just ran into the side wall. The droplet size around the spark plug of case 2 is smaller than case 1. Ignition test results show that case 2 swirl cup’s lean ignition limit is wider than case 1’s. Record of the ignition process deepened the understanding of spark ignition of the swirl diffusion flame. It takes some time for the kernel to anchor in swirl cup. The results demonstrate that swirl cup’s venturi shape strongly influence the spray structure. Thereby affect the combustor ignition performance.

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