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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 457
  • April 2002, pp. 133-156

Experiments on laminar film flow along a periodic wall

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2002

Experimental results are reported on the structure of gravity-driven film flow along an inclined periodic wall with rectangular corrugations. A fluorescence imaging method is used to capture the evolution of film height in space and time with accuracy of a few microns. The steady flow is found to exhibit a statically deformed free surface, as predicted by previous asymptotic and numerical studies. Though usually unstable, its characteristics determine much of the subsequent non-stationary dynamics. Travelling disturbances are observed to evolve into solitary multi-peaked humps, and pronounced differences from the respective phenomena along a flat wall are noted. Finally, a remarkable stabilization of the flow at high Reynolds numbers is documented, which proceeds through the development of a three-dimensional flow structure and leads to a temporary decrease in film thickness and recession of solitary waves.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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