Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Papers

Mathematical modelling of non-axisymmetric capillary tube drawing

I. M. GRIFFITHSa1 and P. D. HOWELLa1

a1 Mathematical Institute, 24–29 St Giles', Oxford, OX1 3LB, UK

Abstract

This paper concerns the manufacture of non-axisymmetric capillary tubing via the Vello process, in which molten glass is fed through a die and drawn off vertically. The shape of the cross-section evolves under surface tension as it flows downstream. The aim is to achieve a given desired final shape, typically square or rectangular, and our goal is to determine the required die shape.

We use the result that, provided the tube is slowly varying in the axial direction, each cross-section evolves like a two-dimensional Stokes flow when expressed in suitably scaled Lagrangian coordinates. This allows us to use a previously derived model for the surface-tension-driven evolution of a thin two-dimensional viscous tube. We thus obtain, and solve analytically, equations governing the axial velocity, thickness and circumference of the tube, as well as its shape. The model is extended to include non-isothermal effects.

(Received August 10 2007)

(Revised March 10 2008)

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