Numerical Simulation of Oil-Droplet Cleavage by Surfactant

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaoyi He, Micah Dembo

Mail Stop K-710, Group T-10, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545

J Biomech Eng 118(2), 201-209 (May 01, 1996) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2795960 History: Received September 02, 1994; Revised March 10, 1995; Online October 30, 2007


We present numerical computations of the deformation of an oil-droplet under the influence of a surface tension gradient generated by the surfactant released at the poles (the Greenspan experiment). We find this deformation to be very small under the pure surface tension gradient. To explain the large deformation of oil droplets observed in Greenspan’s experiments, we propose the existence of a phoretic force generated by the concentration gradient of the surfactant. We show that this hypothesis successfully explains the available experimental data and we propose some further tests.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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