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Study on high-Weber-number droplet collision by a parallel, adaptive interface-tracking method

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2014

Chih-Kuang Kuan
Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1320 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Kuo-Long Pan
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan, ROC
Wei Shyy
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
E-mail address:


We have established a parallel, adaptive interface-tracking framework in order to conduct, based on the framework, direct simulation of binary head-on droplet collision in the high-Weber-number regime (from 200 to 1500) that exhibits complex topological changes and substantial length scale variations. The overall algorithms include a combined Eulerian and Lagrangian solver to track moving interfaces, conservative Lagrangian mesh modification and reconstruction, cell-based unstructured adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) in the Eulerian solver, and associated Eulerian and Lagrangian domain partitions to minimize communication overhead. Based on the combined computational and experimental efforts, we have resolved for the first time the free-surface instabilities of the colliding droplets at such high Weber number. We detail the characteristics of coalescence, stretch, end pinching, fingering, free-surface movement and drop breakup. The Taylor–Culick rim is present soon after the collision. Furthermore, we observe two types of longitudinal instabilities on the rim, namely, the Rayleigh–Taylor (RT)-type instability in the initial deceleration phase of the circular sheet right after droplet coalescence, and later the Rayleigh–Plateau (RP) instabilities. As the Taylor–Culick rim disintegrates in the retraction phase, fingering effect is profound and resulting in wider droplet size distribution.

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