American Institute of Mathematical Sciences

June  2011, 15(4): 1077-1093. doi: 10.3934/dcdsb.2011.15.1077

Numerical investigation of low-viscosity drop breakup in a contracting flow

 1 Thermal Systems Group, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Blvd, MS5202, Golden, CO, 80401, United States 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, United States

Received  January 2010 Revised  March 2010 Published  March 2011

By using an accurate indirect boundary element method, the break-up of a low-viscosity-ratio isolated drop is investigated numerically in a contraction flow at vanishing Reynolds numbers. A practical mathematical method is constructed to detect the asymptotic behavior of the maximum curvature at the point of pinch-off and is used to predict an impending breakup and the breakup time. The 3-D numerical simulation presented here can accurately capture not only the primary breakup of a low viscosity drop as it moves through a constricted geometry, but also secondary breakups and the presence of a set of satellite drops. The results agree qualitatively with laboratory experiments and two-dimensional simulations, but provide more details, aiding the understanding of the process of low-viscosity-ratio drop breakup in an arbitrarily shaped confined outer flow.
Citation: Guangdong Zhu, Andrea Mammoli. Numerical investigation of low-viscosity drop breakup in a contracting flow. Discrete & Continuous Dynamical Systems - B, 2011, 15 (4) : 1077-1093. doi: 10.3934/dcdsb.2011.15.1077
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