Drop impact splashing and air entrapment

  • Marie-Jean Thoraval

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Drop impact is a canonical problem in fluid mechanics, with numerous applications in industrial as well as natural phenomena. The extremely simple initial configuration of the experiment can produce a very large variety of fast and complex dynamics. Scientific progress was made in parallel with major improvements in imaging and computational technologies. Most recently, high-speed imaging video cameras have opened the exploration of new phenomena occurring at the micro-second scale, and parallel computing allowed realistic direct numerical simulations of drop impacts. We combine these tools to bring a new understanding of two fundamental aspects of drop impacts: splashing and air entrapment. The early dynamics of a drop impacting on a liquid pool at high velocity produces an ejecta sheet, emerging horizontally in the neck between the drop and the pool. We show how the interaction of this thin liquid sheet with the air, the drop or the pool, can produce micro-droplets and bubble rings. Then we detail how the breakup of the air film stretched between the drop and the pool for lower impact velocities can produce a myriad of micro-bubbles.
Date of AwardMar 2013
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorSigurdur Thoroddsen (Supervisor)


  • Drop Impact
  • Bubble Entrapment
  • Vortex Street
  • Gerris
  • Splashing
  • Film Breakup
  • ejecta sheet
  • slingshot mechanism
  • bubble ring
  • air toroid
  • liquid toroid
  • VOF
  • vortex shedding
  • air entrapment
  • Mesler entrainment

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