The effects of geometrical confinement and viscosity ratio on the coalescence of droplet pairs in shear flow

P. Bruyn, De, Dongju Chen, P. Moldenaers, R.M. Cardinaels

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Abstract

The effects of geometrical confinement and viscosity ratio on droplet coalescence in shear flow are experimentally investigated by means of a counter rotating parallel plate device, equipped with a microscope. The ratio of droplet diameter to gap spacing is varied between 0.03 and 0.33 to study both bulk and confined conditions. Three grades of a Newtonian droplet material are combined with a Newtonian matrix, resulting in three different viscosity ratios, namely, 0.1, 1.1, and 2.6. The effects of confinement are qualitatively similar for all three viscosity ratios. For each system, confinement decreases the coalescence angle and renders coalescence possible up to higher capillary numbers and initial offsets. Moreover, for all three viscosity ratios, confinement induces a lower initial offset boundary below which the approaching droplets reverse flow direction without coalescence. However, there are quantitative differences between the systems. With increasing viscosity ratio, the critical capillary number and critical upper and lower offset boundaries decrease. Since the decrease of the upper offset boundary is more predominant, the coalescence efficiency decreases with viscosity ratio. The droplet trajectories of interacting droplets are affected by both the viscosity ratio and geometrical confinement, which clearly has implications on the coalescence behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955-1980
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Rheology
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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