Hydrodynamic waves in films flowing under an inclined plane

W. Rohlfs, P. Pischke, B. Scheid

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32 Citations (Scopus)
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This study addresses the fluid dynamics of two-dimensional falling films flowing underneath an inclined plane using the weighted integral boundary layer (WIBL) model and direct numerical simulations (DNSs). Film flows under an inclined plane are subject to hydrodynamic and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, leading to the formation of two- and three-dimensional waves, rivulets, and eventually dripping. The latter can only occur in film flows underneath an inclined plane such that the gravitational force acts in a destabilizing manner by pulling liquid into the gaseous atmosphere. The DNSs are performed using the solver interFoam of the open-source code OpenFOAM with a gradient limiter approach that avoids artificial oversharpening of the interface. We find good agreement between the two model approaches for wave amplitude and wave speed irrespectively of the orientation of the gravitational force and before the onset of dripping. The latter cannot be modeled with the WIBL model by nature as it is a single-value model. However, for large-amplitude solitarylike waves, the WIBL model fails to predict the velocity field within the wave, which is confirmed by a balance of viscous dissipation and the change in potential energy. In the wavy film flows, different flow features can occur such as circulating waves, i.e., circulating eddies in the main wave hump, or flow reversal, i.e., rotating vortices in the capillary minima of the wave. A phase diagram for all flow features is presented based on results of the WIBL model. Regarding the transition to circulating waves, we show that a critical ratio between the maximum and substrate film thickness (approximately 2.5) is also universal for film flows underneath inclined planes (independent of wavelength, inclination, viscous dissipation, and Reynolds number).
Original languageEnglish
Article number044003
JournalPhysical review fluids
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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