Dynamics of drop coalescence at fluid interfaces Article (Web of Science)


  • Drop coalescence was studied using numerical simulations. Liquid drops were made to coalesce with a body of the same liquid, either a reservoir or a drop of different size, each with negligible impact velocity. We considered either gas or liquid as a surrounding fluid, and experimental results are discussed for the gas–liquid set-up. Under certain conditions, a drop will not fully coalesce with the liquid reservoir, leaving behind a daughter drop. Partial coalescence is observed for systems of low viscosity, characterized by a small Ohnesorge number, where capillary waves remain sufficiently vigourous to distort the drop significantly. For drops coalescing with a flat interface, we determine the critical Ohnesorge number as a function of Bond number, as well as density and viscosity ratios of the fluids. Studying the coalescence of two drops of different sizes reveals that partial coalescence may occur in low-viscosity systems provided the size ratio of the drops exceeds a certain threshold. We also determine the extent to which the process of partial coalescence is self-similar and find that the viscosity of the drop has a large effect on the droplet's vertical velocity after pinch off. Finally, we report on the formation of satellite droplets generated after a first pinch off and on the ejection of a jet of tiny droplets during coalescence of a parent drop significantly deformed by gravity.


publication date

  • 2009

published in

number of pages

  • 19

start page

  • 333

end page

  • 352


  • 620