Estimating interfacial tension via relaxation of drop shapes and filament breakup

Mahari Tjahjadi, Julio M. Ottino, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Two methods are presented for calculating the interfacial tension between two immiscible Newtonian fluids. The procedures require only two measurements of the approximate interface shape during the low‐Reynold‐number interfacial‐tension‐driven transient motion of (i) the relaxation of a modestly elongated drop back to a spherical shape or (ii) the growth of capillary wave instabilities along the surface of a thread. The interfacial tension can be estimated by comparing the time differences between the two experimental measurements with tabulated and numerically generated results for the approximate shape evolution. The numerical results are generated using boundary integral method for similar model free‐boundary problems at low Reynolds numbers. The tabulated results are presented for drop to suspending fluid viscosity ratios 0.01 to 10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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