Surface water motility due to an imposed air flow for vehicle drying applications

Customer satisfaction with an automatic car wash is highly dependent on the quality of the final drying phase, with residual water leading to spots and thus poor perception of performance. As such, Suncor Energy is committed to improving the drying phase of their next generation car wash facilities through principled design guidelines based upon scientific investigation of water droplet movement on a surface. This project extends a previous study of the dynamics of individual droplets on an aluminum substrate to consider the aerodynamic interaction between multiple droplets as well as surface water films towards identifying air blower configurations and operational parameters that lead to maximal surface water movement. Specifically, the motion of arrays of droplets, droplet agglomerates, and surface water films are investigated using optical diagnostic tools towards developing predictive models of surface water motility and design guidelines for next-generation air drying modules for car wash facilities.

Xueqing Zhang
Faculty Supervisor: 
Sean D Peterson;Serhiy Yarusevych
Partner University: