Antibubbles and fine cylindrical sheets of air

D. Beilharz, A. Guyon, Erqiang Li, M.-J. Thoraval, Sigurdur T Thoroddsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drops impacting at low velocities onto a pool surface can stretch out thin hemispherical sheets of air between the drop and the pool. These air sheets can remain intact until they reach submicron thicknesses, at which point they rupture to form a myriad of microbubbles. By impacting a higher-viscosity drop onto a lower-viscosity pool, we have explored new geometries of such air films. In this way we are able to maintain stable air layers which can wrap around the entire drop to form repeatable antibubbles, i.e. spherical air layers bounded by inner and outer liquid masses. Furthermore, for the most viscous drops they enter the pool trailing a viscous thread reaching all the way to the pinch-off nozzle. The air sheet can also wrap around this thread and remain stable over an extended period of time to form a cylindrical air sheet. We study the parameter regime where these structures appear and their subsequent breakup. The stability of these thin cylindrical air sheets is inconsistent with inviscid stability theory, suggesting stabilization by lubrication forces within the submicron air layer. We use interferometry to measure the air-layer thickness versus depth along the cylindrical air sheet and around the drop. The air film is thickest above the equator of the drop, but thinner below the drop and up along the air cylinder. Based on microbubble volumes, the thickness of the cylindrical air layer becomes less than 100 nm before it ruptures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-115
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume779
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2015

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