Raindrop impact on sand: A dynamic explanation of crater morphologies

Song-Chuan Zhao, Rianne de Jong, Roger M. van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


As a droplet impacts upon a granular substrate, both the intruder and the target undergo deformation, during which the liquid may penetrate into the substrate. These three aspects together distinguish it from other impact phenomena in the literature. We perform high-speed, double-laser profilometry measurements and disentangle the dynamics into three aspects: the deformation of the substrate during the impact, the maximum spreading diameter of the droplet, and the penetration of the liquid into the substrate. By systematically varying the impact speed and the packing fraction of the substrate, (i) the substrate deformation indicates a critical packing fraction [curly or open phi]* ≈ 0.585; (ii) the maximum droplet spreading diameter is found to scale with a Weber number corrected by the substrate deformation; and (iii) a model of the liquid penetration is established and is used to explain the observed crater morphology transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6562-6568
Number of pages7
JournalSoft matter
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2015


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