Jets and drops
Transition to turbulence in viscoelastic jets

Dissolving small amounts of polymer into a Newtonian fluid can dramatically change the dynamics of transitional and turbulent flows. We investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of a submerged jet of dilute polymer solution entering a quiescent bath of Newtonian fluid. High-speed digital Schlieren imaging is used to quantify the evolution of Lagrangian features in the jet revealing a rich sequence of transitional and turbulent states. At high levels of viscoelasticity, we identify a new distinct transitional pathway to elastoinertial turbulence (EIT) that does not feature the conventional turbulent bursts and instead proceeds via a shear-layer instability that produces elongated filaments of polymer due to the nonlinear effects of viscoelasticity. Even though the pathways to the EIT state can be different, and within EIT the spatial details of the turbulent structures vary systematically with polymer microstructure and concentration, there is a universality in the power-law spectral decay of EIT with frequency, independent of fluid rheology and flow parameters.

Airflows generated by an impacting drop

A drop impacting a solid surface with sufficient velocity will splash and emit many small droplets. However, lowering the ambient air pressure suppresses splashing completely. This effect, robustly found for different liquid and substrate properties, raises the fundamental question of how air affects a spreading drop. In a combined experimental and numerical study we characterize the flow of air induced by the drop after it hits the substrate, using a modified Schlieren optics technique combined with high-speed video imaging and Lattice-Boltzmann simulations. Our experiments reveal the emergence of air structures on different length scales. On large scales, the airflow induced in the drop’s wake leads to vortex structures due to interaction with the substrate. On smaller scales, we visualize a ring structure above the outer edge of the spreading liquid generated by the spreading of the drop. Our simulations reveal the interaction between the wake vorticity and the flows originating from the rapidly escaping air from below the impacting drop. We show that the vorticity is governed by a balance between inertial and viscous forces in the air, and is unrelated to the splashing threshold.

Airflows generated by an impacting drop

I. Bischofberger, B. Ray, J. F. Morris, T. Lee, S. R. Nagel

Soft Matter, 12, 3013-3020 (2016)


Seeing the invisible – air vortices around a splashing drop

I. Bischofberger, K. W. Mauser, S. R. Nagel

Phys. Fluids 25, 091110 (2013)