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‘Gobbling drops’: the jetting–dripping transition in flows of polymer solutions

  • C. CLASEN (a1), J. BICO (a2), V. M. ENTOV (a3) and G. H. McKINLEY (a4)


This paper discusses the breakup of capillary jets of dilute polymer solutions and the dynamics associated with the transition from dripping to jetting. High-speed digital video imaging reveals a new scenario of transition and breakup via periodic growth and detachment of large terminal drops. The underlying mechanism is discussed and a basic theory for the mechanism of breakup is also presented. The dynamics of the terminal drop growth and trajectory prove to be governed primarily by mass and momentum balances involving capillary, gravity and inertial forces, whilst the drop detachment event is controlled by the kinetics of the thinning process in the viscoelastic ligaments that connect the drops. This thinning process of the ligaments that are subjected to a constant axial force is driven by surface tension and resisted by the viscoelasticity of the dissolved polymeric molecules. Analysis of this transition provides a new experimental method to probe the rheological properties of solutions when minute concentrations of macromolecules have been added.


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This paper is dedicated to the memory of Vladimir M. Entov (1937–2008)



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‘Gobbling drops’: the jetting–dripping transition in flows of polymer solutions

  • C. CLASEN (a1), J. BICO (a2), V. M. ENTOV (a3) and G. H. McKINLEY (a4)


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