An experimental investigation on the collision behaviour of hydrocarbon droplets

Y. J. Jiang, A. Umemura, C. K. Law

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376 Scopus citations


The collisional dynamics of equal-sized water and normal-alkane droplets, in the 150 μm radius range, have been experimentally studied for situations involving 0(1) droplet Weber numbers and head-on to grazing impact parameters. Results show that in the parametric range investigated the behaviour of hydrocarbon droplets is significantly more complex than that of water droplets. For head-on collisions, while permanent coalescence always results for water droplets, the outcome is quite nonmonotonic for the hydrocarbon droplets in that, with increasing droplet Weber number, the collision can result in permanent coalescence, bouncing, permanent coalescence again, and coalescence followed by separation with or without production of satellite droplets. Similar complexities exist for off-centre collisions. Phenomenological explanations are offered for these observations based on the material properties of the fluids, the relative influences of the normal and shearing aspects of the collision, and the nature and extent of energy dissipation due to droplet deformation during collision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-190
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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