Stabilizing effect of surrounding gas flow on a plane liquid sheet

Authors: Tammisola, O., Sasaki, A. , Lundell, F., Matsubara, M., Söderberg, D.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume: 672   5-32
Year: 2011


The stability of a plane liquid sheet is studied experimentally and theoretically, with an emphasis on the effect of the surrounding gas. Co-blowing with a gas velocity of the same order of magnitude as the liquid velocity is studied, in order to quantify its effect on the stability of the sheet. Experimental results are obtained for a water sheet in air at Reynolds number Rel = 3000 and Weber number We = 300, based on the half thickness of the sheet at the inlet, water mean velocity at the inlet, the surface tension between water and air and water density and viscosity. The sheet is excited with different frequencies at the inlet and the growth of the waves in the streamwise direction is measured. The growth rate curves of the disturbances for all air flow velocities under study are found to be within 20% of the values obtained from a local spatial stability analysis, where water and air viscosity are taken into account, while previous results from literature assuming inviscid air overpredict the most unstable wavelength with a factor 3 and the growth rate with a factor 2. The effect of the air flow on the stability of the sheet is scrutinized numerically and it is concluded that the predicted disturbance growth scales with (1) the absolute velocity difference between water and air (inviscid effect) and (2) the square root of the shear from air on the water surface (viscous effect).