A numerical study of two-phase Stokes flow in an axisymmetric flow-focusing device

Mads Jakob Jensen, Howard A. Stone, Henrik Bruus

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60 Scopus citations


We present a numerical investigation of the time-dependent dynamics of the creation of gas bubbles in an axisymmetric flow-focusing device. The liquid motion is treated as a Stokes flow, and using a generic framework we implement a second-order time-integration scheme and a free-surface model in MATLAB, which interfaces with the finite-element software FEMLAB. We derive scaling laws for the volume of a created bubble and for the gas flow rate, and confirm them numerically. Our results are consistent with existing experimental results by Garstecki [Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 164501 (2005)], and predict a scaling yet to be observed: the bubble volume scales with the outlet channel radius to the power of 4 and the surface tension. Our axisymmetric simulations further show that the collapse of the gas thread before bubble snap-off is different from the recent experimental results. We suggest that this difference is caused by differences in geometry between experiments and the simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number077103
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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