Curvature suppresses the Rayleigh-Taylor instability

Philippe H. Trinh, Hyoungsoo Kim, Naima Hammoud, Peter D. Howell, S. Jonathan Chapman, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The dynamics of a thin liquid film on the underside of a curved cylindrical substrate is studied. The evolution of the liquid layer is investigated as the film thickness and the radius of curvature of the substrate are varied. A dimensionless parameter (a modified Bond number) that incorporates both geometric parameters, gravity, and surface tension is identified, and allows the observations to be classified according to three different flow regimes: stable films, films with transient growth of perturbations followed by decay, and unstable films. Experiments and linear stability theory confirm that below a critical value of the Bond number curvature of the substrate suppresses the Rayleigh-Taylor instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051704
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 20 2014

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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