Apex jets from impacting drops

Jeremy Marston*, S. T. Thoroddsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present experiments showing vertical jetting from the apex of a viscous drop which impacts onto a pool of lower viscosity liquid. This jet is produced by the ejecta sheet which emerges from the free surface of the pool, and moves up and wraps around the surface of the drop. When this sheet of liquid converges and collides at the top apex of the drop it produces a thin upward jet at velocities of more than 10 times the drop impact velocity. This jetting occurs for a limited range of impact conditions, where the ejecta speed is sufficient for the sheet to travel around the entire drop periphery, but not so fast that it separates from the drop surface. The lower bound for the jetting region is thereby set by a minimal Reynolds number, but the upper bounds are subject to a maximum-Weber-number criterion. The strongest observed jets appear for viscous drops impacting onto liquid pools with the lowest viscosity as well as lowest surface tension, such as acetone and methanol. Jetting has also been observed for drops which are immiscible with the pool liquid, under a different range of impact conditions. However, jetting is never observed for pools of water, as the surface tension is then significantly larger than that of the drop. We believe that Marangoni stresses act in this case to promote separation of the sheet to prevent the jetting. A movie is available with the online version of the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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