Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Gas bubbles bursting at a free surface

J. M.  Boulton-Stone  and J. R.  Blake 
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

Article author query
boulton-stone jm   [Google Scholar] 
blake jr   [Google Scholar] 


When a small air bubble bursts from an equilibrium position at an air/water interface, a complex motion ensues resulting in the production of a high-speed liquid jet. This free-surface motion following the burst is modelled numerically using a boundary integral method. Jet formation and liquid entrainment rates from jet breakup into drops are calculated and compared with existing experimental evidence. In order to investigate viscous effects, a boundary layer is included in the calculations by employing a time-stepping technique which allows the boundary mesh to remain orthogonal to the surface. This allows an approximation of the vorticity development in the region of boundary-layer separation during jet formation. Calculated values of pressure and energy dissipation rates in the fluid indicate a violent motion, particularly for smaller bubbles. This has important implications for the biological industry where animal cells in bioreactors have been found to be killed by the presence of small bubbles.

(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Received October 19 1992)
(Revised March 23 1993)