Droplet Splashing by a Slingshot Mechanism

Sigurdur T Thoroddsen, M.-J. Thoraval, K. Takehara, T. G. Etoh

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When a drop impacts onto a liquid pool, it ejects a thin horizontal sheet of liquid, which emerges from the neck region connecting the two liquid masses. The leading section of this ejecta bends down to meet the pool liquid. When the sheet touches the pool, at an “elbow,” it ruptures and sends off microdroplets by a slingshot mechanism, driven by surface tension. High-speed imaging of the splashing droplets suggests the liquid sheet is of submicron thickness, as thin as 300 nm. Experiments in partial vacuum show that air resistance plays the primary role in bending the sheet. We identify a parameter regime where this slingshot occurs and also present a simple model for the sheet evolution, capable of reproducing the overall shape.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2011

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