Atomization of a molten metal for metal powder production, spray forming or coating applications usually is achieved by means of two-fluid atomization with inert gas. In spray forming, which is a process for production of pre-shaped metal forms with excellent material properties, and sometimes in metal powder production, the type of atomizer used is a 'free-fall' atomizer configuration.
Modelling and description of the melt disintegration process as the first unit operation of spray forming is of great importance and needs primarily informations about the gas flow field in the nozzle vicinity and the influence of nozzle configuration and operation parameters on the resulting spray.
This investigation analyses the transsonic flow field of interacting gas jets and the nozzle flow field by means of experimental and simulation methods. Special attention is paid to the gas exit conditions at the atomizer and the configuration and arrangement of the gas jets. Results will illustrate the gas behaviour in the free fall nozzle configuration and the potential of nozzle optimisations.