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Flow-measurements in the wake of an oscillating sessile droplet using laser-Doppler velocity profile sensor

  • Burgmann, Sebastian1
  • Krämer, Veronika2
  • Dues, Michael3
  • Steinbock, Jonas3
  • Büttner, Lars4
  • Czarske, Juergen4
  • Janoske, Uwe1
  • 1 Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Gaußstraße 20 , (Germany)
  • 2 Robert Bosch GmbH, P. O. Box 300220 , (Germany)
  • 3 ILA R&D GmbH, Rudolf-Schulten-Str. 3 , (Germany)
  • 4 Technische Universität Dresden, Helmholtzstraße 18 , (Germany)
Published Article
tm - Technisches Messen
De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Publication Date
Jan 29, 2022
DOI: 10.1515/teme-2021-0119
De Gruyter
  • Beiträge


Although relevant in many technical applications, the removal of sessile droplets on surfaces by an (air-) flow is still hard to predict. The flow around the droplet has not been investigated in detail so far but knowledge on the flow structure is essential for the assessment of appropriate drag force correlation. Small droplets (in the range of 5–40 µl) on PMMA substrate in an air flow are investigated. Due to the small size of the droplet the laser-Doppler velocity profile sensor with frequency shift is applied to measure the flow in the wake of the oscillating, still adhering droplet. Thanks to the high spatial and temporal resolution of Laser-Doppler velocity profile sensor and its capability to measure bidirectional flows, the flow behind the droplet can be precisely analyzed. Additional hot-film measurements are used to investigate the temporal behavior of the flow. Complementary, numerical simulation is performed applying a modified VOF (Volume-of-Fluid) method. The combination of the experimental and numerical data gives new insight in the wake flow structure of sessile droplets: With increasing Reynolds number, a backflow can be detected in the wake of the droplet. A separated shear layer stemming from the upper side of the droplet leads to a vortex shedding with formation of a recirculation region in the temporal mean. In contrast to rigid hemispheres, the movement of the air-liquid interface of the droplet leads to an internal flow which is driven by the outer flow structure and vice versa. This is a hint that drag coefficients of sessile droplets cannot be simply derived by analyzing flows of rigid hemispherical structures. Additionally, droplet contour and wake flow exhibit the same characteristic oscillation frequency. The corresponding Strouhal number is almost constant at 0.03 compared to the Strouhal number of a rigid hemisphere of 0.28. Therefore, it can be assumed that an aeroelastic self-excitation effect may be present that eventually leads to droplet movement.

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