Journal of Fluid Mechanics

The creeping motion of a spherical particle normal to a deformable interface

A. S.  Geller a1, S. H.  Lee a1p1 and L. G.  Leal a1
a1 Department of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125

Article author query
geller as   [Google Scholar] 
lee sh   [Google Scholar] 
leal lg   [Google Scholar] 


Numerical results are presented for the approach of a rigid sphere normal to a deformable fluid-fluid interface in the velocity range for which inertial effects may be neglected. Both the case of a sphere moving with constant velocity, and that of a sphere moving under the action of a constant non-hydrodynamic body force are considered for several values of the viscosity ratio, density difference and interfacial tension between the two fluids. Two distinct modes of interface deformation are demonstrated: a film drainage mode in which fluid drains away in front of the sphere leaving an ever-thinning film, and a tailing mode where the sphere passes several radii beyond the plane of the initially undeformed interface, while remaining encapsulated by the original surrounding fluid which is connected with its main body by a thin thread-like tail behind the sphere. We consider the influence of the viscosity ratio, density difference, interfacial tension and starting position of the sphere in deter-mining which of these two modes of deformation will occur.

(Published Online April 21 2006)
(Received September 20 1985)
(Revised December 20 1985)

p1 Present address: Chevron Oil Field Research Co., La Habra, CA 90631.