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Effect of surfactant on elongated bubbles in capillary tubes at high Reynolds number

Abstract : The effect of surfactants on the tail and film dynamics of elongated gas bubbles propagating through circular capillary tubes is investigated by means of an extensive three-dimensional numerical study using a hybrid front-tracking/level-set method. The focus is on the visco-inertial regime, which occurs when the Reynolds number of the flow is much larger than unity. Under these conditions, 'clean' bubbles exhibit interface undulations in the proximity of the tail [25], with an amplitude that increases with the Reynolds number. We perform a systematic analysis of the impact of a wide range of surfactant properties, including elasticity, bulk surfactant concentration, solubility, and diffusivity, on the bubble and flow dynamics in the presence of inertial effects. The results show that the introduction of surfactants is effective in suppressing the tail undulations as they tend to accumulate near the bubble tail. Here, large Marangoni stresses are generated, which lead to a local 'rigidification' of the bubble. This effect becomes more pronounced for larger surfactant elasticities and adsorption depths. At reduced surfactant solubility, a thicker rigid film region forms at the bubble rear, where a Couette film flow is established, while undulations still appear at the trailing edge of the downstream 'clean' film region. In such conditions, the bubble length becomes an influential parameter, with short bubbles becoming completely rigid.
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Soumis le : dimanche 17 mai 2020 - 19:36:38
Dernière modification le : vendredi 9 octobre 2020 - 10:03:28

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Assen Batchvarov, Lyes Kahouadji, Mirco Magnini, Cristian R. Constante-Amores, Richard V. Craster, et al.. Effect of surfactant on elongated bubbles in capillary tubes at high Reynolds number. Physical Review Fluids, American Physical Society, 2020, 5, pp.093605. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevFluids.5.093605⟩. ⟨hal-02610701⟩

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