Phase separation of viscous ternary liquid mixtures

Jang Min Park, Roberto Mauri, Patrick D. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this work we study the demixing of ternary liquid mixtures, following an initial quench to an unstable state of their phase diagram. Our theoretical model follows the standard diffuse interface model, where convection and diffusion are coupled via a body force, expressing the tendency of the mixture to minimize its free energy. Here we model the behavior of a very viscous polymer melt, so that the Peclet number, expressing the ratio between convective and diffusive mass fluxes, is small. Two examples are presented, describing the phase separation of ternary mixtures in two and three phases, respectively. In the first case, as expected, we see that the growth of the domain size follows the well known diffusion-driven scaling, R(t)∝t 1/3. On the other hand, in the second example, the domain size growth follows the usual t 1/3 scaling only until the symmetry among the three phases breaks down and the domain size of two of the three phases decrease sharply. After that point, the morphology of the system becomes more regular, almost crystal-like, and the three phases start to grow again, with the same growth rate R(t)∝t n, with n=0.11.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012


  • Cahn-Hilliard model
  • Diffuse interface model
  • Finite element method
  • Phase separation
  • Structure development
  • Ternary liquid mixture


Dive into the research topics of 'Phase separation of viscous ternary liquid mixtures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this