Shreyas Mandre

University Associate Professor of Fluid-Structure Interaction
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Droplet coalescence

An experimental study of the coalescence between a drop and an interface in Newtonian and polymeric liquids

Fluid Mechanics Droplet coalescence Capillarity

When a water drop falls onto an oil-water interface, the drop usually rests for some time before merging with the water underneath the interface. We report experiments on this process using water- and oil-based Newtonian liquids and polymer solutions, with an emphasis on the non-Newtonian effects. We deduce that the drop surface is immobilized by contaminants pre-existing in the fluids, and find that the rest time scales with the matrix viscosity for Newtonian fluids.

Partial coalescence between a drop and a liquid-liquid interface

Fluid Mechanics Capillarity Droplet coalescence

This Letter reports experimental results for partial coalescence when a drop merges with an interface. We find an intermediate range of drop sizes in which the merger is not complete but a daughter drop is left behind. This phenomenon is governed primarily by inertia and interfacial tension, and three regimes can be further delineated depending on the roles of viscosity and gravity. Scaling relationships are developed for the drop size ratio and the coalescence time.