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Air trapping at impact of a rigid sphere onto a liquid

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 February 2012

P. D. Hicks*
School of Mathematics, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
E. V. Ermanyuk
Lavrentyev Institute of Hydrodynamics, av. Lavrentyev 15, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia Novosibirsk State University, str. Pirogova 2, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
N. V. Gavrilov
Lavrentyev Institute of Hydrodynamics, av. Lavrentyev 15, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
R. Purvis
School of Mathematics, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
Email address for correspondence:


An experimental and theoretical investigation of the air trapping by a blunt, locally spherical body impacting onto the free surface of water is conducted. In the parameter regime previously studied theoretically by Hicks & Purvis (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 649, 2010, pp. 135–163), excellent agreement between experimental data and theoretical modelling is obtained. Earlier predictions of the radius of the trapped air pocket are confirmed. A boundary element method is used to consider air cushioning of an impact of an axisymmetric body into water. Efficient computational methods are obtained by analytically integrating the boundary integral equation over the azimuthal variable. The resulting numerically computed free-surface profiles predict an annular touchdown region in excellent agreement with the experiments.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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