Internal flow measurements of drop impacting a solid surface

S. Santosh Kumar, Ashish Karn, Roger E A Arndt, Jiarong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Understanding the fundamental physical process involved in drop impacts is important for a variety of engineering and scientific applications. Despite exhaustive research efforts on the dynamics of drop morphology upon impact, very few studies investigate the fluid dynamics induced within a drop upon impact. This study employs planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) with fluorescent particles to quantify the internal flow field of a drop impact on a solid surface. The image distortion caused by the curved liquid–air interface at the drop boundary is corrected using a ray-tracing algorithm. PIV analysis using the corrected images has yielded interesting insights into the flow initiated within a drop upon impact. Depending on the pre-impact conditions, characterized by impact number, different vortex modes are observed in the recoil phase of the drop impact. Further, the strength of these vortices and the kinetic energy of the internal flow field have been quantified. Our studies show a consistent negative power law correlation between vortex strength, internal kinetic energy and the impact number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by Office of Naval Research–United States under Grant # N000140910141 (Program manager: Dr. Ronald Joslin) and Grant # 12044075 (Program manager: Dr. Thomas Fu), and the startup of Jiarong Hong from the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


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