The effect of surfactant on the transient motion of Newtonian drops

W. J. Milliken, H. A. Stone, L. G. Leal

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The effect of dilute, insoluble surfactant on the deformation and breakup of a viscous drop is examined. Two cases are considered: the deformation and stretching of a drop in a uniaxial extensional flow and the surface-tension- driven motion of an elongated drop in a quiescent fluid. Aside from rescaling the mean capillary force through an average decrease in the interfacial tension, surfactants alter the motion of a viscous drop through gradients in interfacial tension. The effects of surfactants are found to be most pronounced for small viscosity ratios, where Marangoni stresses substantially retard the interfacial velocity and cause the drop to behave as though it were more viscous. Surfactants are found to facilitate the formation of pointed ends during drop stretching, and this may explain the observation of tip streaming in experiments with viscoelastic drops. Surfactant gradients also allow drops to be elongated to a larger degree without producing end pinching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Fluids A
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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