Impact jetting by a solid sphere

S. T. Thoroddsen*, T. G. Etoh, K. Takehara, Y. Takano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We use a novel ultra-high-speed video camera to study the initial stage of the impact of a solid sphere onto a liquid surface, finding a high-speed horizontal jet which emerges immediately following the intial contact. For Re > 2 × 104 the jet emerges when the horizontal contact between the sphere and the liquid is only 12% of its diameter. For the largest Reynolds numbers this jet can travel at more than 30 times the impact velocity of the sphere. This jetting occurs sooner and at much higher normalized velocities than has been observed previously. The breakup of the jet into a spray of droplets sometimes occurs through formation of pockets in the liquid sheet. Early in the impact, the energy transferred to the jet and the subsequent spray sheet is estimated to be much larger than the energy associated with the added mass inside the liquid pool. The jetting will therefore greatly increase the initial impact force on the sphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Issue number499
StatePublished - Jan 25 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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