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Unveiling the spatiotemporal evolution of liquid-lens coalescence: Self-similarity, vortex quadrupoles, and turbulence in a three-phase fluid system

Padhan, NB and Pandit, R (2023) Unveiling the spatiotemporal evolution of liquid-lens coalescence: Self-similarity, vortex quadrupoles, and turbulence in a three-phase fluid system. In: Physics of Fluids, 35 (11).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0172631


The coalescence of liquid lenses represents a fundamental challenge within the domains of fluid dynamics and statistical physics, particularly in the context of complex multi-phase flows. We demonstrate that the three-phase Cahn-Hilliard-Navier-Stokes (CHNS3) system provides a natural theoretical framework for studying liquid-lens coalescence, which has been investigated in recent experiments. Our extensive direct numerical simulations of lens coalescence, in the two and three dimensional (2D and 3D) CHNS3, uncover the rich spatiotemporal evolution of the fluid velocity u and vorticity � , the concentration fields c 1 , c 2 , and c3 of the three liquids, and an excess pressure P � G , which we define in terms of these concentrations via a Poisson equation. We find, in agreement with experiments, that as the lenses coalesce, their neck height h ( t ) � t α v , with α v � 1 in the viscous regime, and h ( t ) � t α i , with α i � 2 / 3 in the inertial regime. We obtain the crossover from the viscous to the inertial regimes as a function of the Ohnesorge number Oh, a dimensionless combination of viscous stresses and inertial and surface tension forces. We show that a vortex quadrupole, which straddles the neck of the merging lenses, and P � G play crucial roles in distinguishing between the viscous- and inertial-regime growths of the merging lenses. In the inertial regime, we find signatures of turbulence, which we quantify via kinetic-energy and concentration spectra. Finally, we examine the merger of asymmetric lenses, in which the initial stages of coalescence occur along the circular parts of the lens interfaces; in this case, we obtain power-law forms for the h(t) with inertial-regime exponents that lie between their droplet-coalescence and lens-merger counterparts. © 2023 Author(s).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physics of Fluids
Publisher: American Institute of Physics Inc.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to author.
Keywords: Coalescence; Kinetic energy; Kinetics; Merging; Navier Stokes equations; Poisson distribution; Poisson equation; Statistical Physics; Vortex flow, Fluid-dynamics; Inertial regimes; Liquid lens; Multi-phase flows; Quadrupoles; Self-similarities; Spatiotemporal evolution; Statistical physics; Three phase fluid systems; Three phasis, Turbulence
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2024 13:00
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 13:00
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/83666

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