Drop impact on a liquid-liquid interface

Zulfaa Mohamed-Kassim, Ellen K. Longmire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The effects of Reynolds number (Re) on the gravity-driven impact of a single drop onto a liquid-liquid interface were studied experimentally using the particle image velocimetry method. The liquid beneath the interface was identical to the drop liquid. Two liquids with different viscosities were used as the ambient above the interface resulting in viscosity ratios (drop to ambient) of 0.14 and 0.33. Index matching and a slight camera inclination were employed to eliminate optical distortion. Image planes were captured at a rate of 500 Hz, and velocity fields were determined from consecutive images. The flow Reynolds numbers based on drop impact velocity and ambient viscosity were 20 and 68 for the lower and higher viscosity ratios, respectively. During the approach toward the interface, the drop shape was more oblate for the higher Re case. At the same time, viscous stresses generated a vortex ring inside each drop and a wake behind it. Each wake contained a detached ring of similar sign to the ring inside the drop. The subsequent deformation of the drop and the interface due to impact was observed to be more radical in the higher Re case. The impingement and shearing of the trailing wake on the upper surface of each drop played a significant role in dissipating the vorticity inside both drops, and the vorticity dissipated faster for lower Re.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3263-3273
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003

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