On self-similar thermal rupture of thin liquid sheets

M. Bowen*, B. S. Tilley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the dynamics of a symmetrically heated thin incompressible viscous fluid sheet. We take surface tension to be temperature dependent and consequently the streamwise momentum equation includes the effects of thermocapillarity, inertia, viscous stresses, and capillarity. Energy transport to the surrounding environment is also included. We use a long-wave analysis to derive a single nondimensional system which, with appropriate choices of Reynolds number, recovers two previously studied cases. In both cases, we find conditions under which sufficiently large-amplitude initial temperature profiles induce film rupture in finite time, notably without the inclusion of disjoining pressures from van der Waals effects. When the Reynolds number is large, the similarity solution is governed by a balance of inertia and capillarity near the rupture location, analogous to the isothermal case. When the Reynolds number is small, the thermocapillary transients induce the same similarity solution over intermediate times that is found for the drainage of lamellae in foams. For O(1) Reynolds numbers, the dynamics are governed initially by the large Reynolds number evolution, and then a transition over several orders of magnitude in the sheet thickness needs to take place before the small Reynolds number similarity solution is observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102105
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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