Inclined to splash: Triggering and inhibiting a splash with tangential velocity

James C. Bird, Scott S.H. Tsai, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


When a liquid drop impacts a smooth, solid, dry surface, the drop forms a radially spreading lamella, which can lead to a splash. Previous studies have focused almost exclusively on impacts perpendicular to a surface; yet it is common for drops to impact on angled or moving surfaces. The asymmetry of such impacts leads to an azimuthal variation of the ejected rim, and under certain conditions only part of the rim breaks up to form droplets. We show that the tangential component of impact can act to enhance or suppress a splash. We develop a new model to predict when this type of splashing will occur. The model accounts for our observations of the effects of tangential velocity and agrees well with previous experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063017
JournalNew Journal of Physics
StatePublished - Jun 12 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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