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Experiments on the breakup of drop-impact crowns by Marangoni holes

  • Abdulrahman B. Aljedaani (a1), Chunliang Wang (a1), Aditya Jetly (a1) and S. T. Thoroddsen (a1)


We investigate experimentally the breakup of the Edgerton crown due to Marangoni instability when a highly viscous drop impacts on a thin film of lower-viscosity liquid, which also has different surface tension than the drop liquid. The presence of this low-viscosity film modifies the boundary condition, giving effective slip to the drop along the solid substrate. This allows the high-viscosity drop to form a regular bowl-shaped crown, which rises vertically away from the solid and subsequently breaks up through the formation of a multitude of Marangoni holes. Previous experiments have proposed that the breakup of the crown results from a spray of fine droplets ejected from the thin low-viscosity film on the solid, e.g. Thoroddsen et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 557, 2006, pp. 63–72). These droplets can hit the inner side of the crown forming spots with lower surface tension, which drives a thinning patch leading to the hole formation. We test the validity of this assumption with close-up imaging to identify individual spray droplets, to show how they hit the crown and their lower surface tension drive the hole formation. The experiments indicate that every Marangoni-driven patch/hole is promoted by the impact of such a microdroplet. Surprisingly, in experiments with pools of higher surface tension, we also see hole formation. Here the Marangoni stress changes direction and the hole formation looks qualitatively different, with holes and ruptures forming in a repeatable fashion at the centre of each spray droplet impact. Impacts onto films of the same liquid, or onto an immiscible liquid, do not in general form holes. We furthermore characterize the effects of drop viscosity and substrate-film thickness on the overall evolution of the crown. We also measure the three characteristic velocities associated with the hole formation: i.e. the Marangoni-driven growth of the thinning patches, the rupture speed of the resulting thin films inside these patches and finally the growth rate of the fully formed holes in the crown wall.


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Experiments on the breakup of drop-impact crowns by Marangoni holes

  • Abdulrahman B. Aljedaani (a1), Chunliang Wang (a1), Aditya Jetly (a1) and S. T. Thoroddsen (a1)


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