Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Role played by the interfacial shear in the instability mechanism of a viscous liquid jet surrounded by a viscous gas in a pipe

S. P. LIN a1 and J. N. CHEN a1
a1 Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5725, USA


The role of interfacial shear in the onset of instability of a cylindrical viscous liquid jet in a viscous gas surrounded by a coaxial circular pipe is elucidated by use of an energy budget associated with the disturbance. It is shown that the shear force at the liquid–gas interface retards the Rayleigh-mode instability which leads to the breakup of the liquid jet into drops of diameter comparable to the jet diameter, due to capillary force. On the other hand the interfacial shear and pressure work in concert to cause the Taylor-mode instability which leads the jet to break up into droplets of diameter much smaller than the jet diameter. While the interfacial pressure plays a slightly more important role than the interfacial shear in amplifying the longer-wave spectrum in the Taylor mode, the shear stress plays the main role of generating the disturbances of shorter wavelength.

(Received April 13 1998)
(Revised June 23 1998)