Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Deformation of a two-dimensional drop at non-zero Reynolds number in time-periodic extensional flows: numerical simulation

a1 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA


The shape of a two-dimensional viscous drop deforming in several time-dependent flow fields, including that due to a potential vortex, has been studied. Vortex flow was approximated by linearizing the induced velocity field at the drop centre, giving rise to an extensional flow with rotating axes of stretching. A generalization of the potential vortex, a flow we have called rotating extensional flow, occurs when the frequency of revolution of the flow is varied independently of the shear rate. Drops subjected to this forcing flow exhibit an interesting resonance phenomenon. Finally we have studied drop deformation in an oscillatory extensional flow.

Calculations were performed at small but non-zero Reynolds numbers using an ADI front-tracking/finite difference method. We investigate the effects of interfacial tension, periodicity, viscosity ratio, and Reynolds number on the drop dynamics. The simulation reveals interesting behaviour for steady stretching flows, as well as time-dependent flows. For a steady extensional flow, the drop deformation is found to be non-monotonic with time in its approach to an equilibrium value. At sufficiently high Reynolds numbers, the drop experiences multiple growth–collapse cycles, with possible axes reversal, before reaching a final shape. For a vortex flow, the long-time deformation reaches a steady value, and the drop attains a revolving steady elliptic shape. For rotating extensional flows as well as oscillatory extensional flows, the maximum value of deformation displays resonance with variation in parameters, first increasing and then decreasing with increasing interfacial tension or forcing frequency. A simple ODE model with proper forcing is offered to explain the observed phenomena.

(Received October 20 1999)
(Revised December 12 2000)

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