Dynamics of internal jets in the merging of two droplets of unequal sizes

Chenglong Tang, Jiaquan Zhao, Peng Zhang, Chung King Law, Zuohua Huang

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43 Scopus citations


The head-on collision, merging and internal mixing dynamics of two unequal-sized droplets were experimentally studied and interpreted, using water, -decane and -tetradecane to identify the distinguishing effects of surface tension and liquid viscosity on the merging and mixing patterns. It is shown that, upon merging of water and -decane droplets, mushroom-like jets of dissimilar characteristics develop within the merged mass for small and large values of the impact Weber number (We), and that such jets are not developed for intermediate values of We. Furthermore, such jet-like mixing patterns were not observed for droplets of -tetradecane, which has smaller surface tension and larger viscosity as compared to water. A regime nomogram relating the Ohnesorge and symmetric Weber numbers is constructed, providing a unified interpretation of the internal mixing patterns. Numerical simulations based on an improved volume-of-fluid method and an adaptive mesh refinement algorithm provide auxiliary diagnoses of the flow fields and the observed phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-689
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - May 25 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • breakup/coalescence
  • drops
  • drops and bubbles


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