On the rising and sinking motion of bouncing oil drops in strongly stratified liquids

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When an immiscible oil drop is immersed in a stably stratified ethanol-water mixture, the Marangoni flow on the surface of the drop can experience an oscillatory instability, so that the drop undergoes a transition from levitating to bouncing. The onset of the instability and its mechanisms have been studied previously (Li et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 126, 2021, 124502; Li et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 932, 2022, A11), yet the bouncing motion of the drop itself, which is a completely different problem, has not yet been investigated. Here we study how the bouncing characteristics (jumping height, rising and sinking time) depend on the control parameters (drop radius, stratification strength, drop viscosity). We first record experimentally the bouncing trajectories of drops of different viscosities in different stratifications. Then a simplified dynamical analysis is performed to get the scaling relations of the jumping height and the rising and sinking times. The rising and sinking time scales are found to depend on the drag coefficient of the drop in the stratified liquid, which is determined empirically for the current parameter space (Zhang et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 875, 2019, 622-656). For low-viscosity (5 cSt) oil drops, the results on the drag coefficient match those from the literature (Yick et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 632, 2009, pp. 49-68; Candelier et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 749, 2014, pp. 184-200). For high-viscosity (100 cSt) oil drops, the parameter space had not been explored and the drag coefficients are not readily available. Numerical simulations are therefore performed to provide external verification for the drag coefficients, which well match with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA14
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2023


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