Stability and tip streaming of a surfactant-loaded drop in an extensional flow: Influence of surface viscosity

Miguel Angel Herrada, Alberto Ponce-Torres, Manuel Rubio, Jens G Eggers, Jose Maria Montanero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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We study numerically the nonlinear stationary states of a droplet covered with an insoluble surfactant in a uniaxial extensional flow. We calculate both the eigenfunctions to reveal the instability mechanism and the time-dependent states resulting from it, which provides a coherent picture of the phenomenon. The transition is of the saddle-node type, both with and without surfactant. The flow becomes unstable under stationary linear perturbations. Surfactant considerably reduces the interval of stable capillary numbers. Inertia increases the droplet deformation and decreases the critical capillary number. In the presence of the surfactant monolayer, neither the droplet deformation nor the stability is significantly affected by the droplet viscosity. The transient state resulting from instability is fundamentally different for drops with and without surfactant. Tip streaming occurs only in the presence of surfactants. The critical eigenmode leading to tip streaming is qualitatively the same as that yielding the central pinching mode for a clean interface, which indicates that the small local scale characterizing tip streaming is set during the nonlinear droplet deformation. The viscous surface stress does not significantly affect the droplet deformation and the critical capillary number. However, the damping rate of the dominant mode considerably decreases for viscous surfactants. Interestingly, shear viscous surface stress considerably alters the tip streaming arising in the supercritical regime, even for very small surface viscosities. The viscous surface stresses alter the balance of normal interfacial stresses and affect the surfactant transport over the stretched interface.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA26
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date19 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness under grants DPI2016-78887 and PID2019-108278RB, by Junta de Extremadura under grant GR18175, and by Junta de Andalucía under grant P18-FR-3623.

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  • drops
  • breakup
  • capillary flows


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