Droplet impact dynamics on shallow pools


When a fast droplet impacts a pool of the same fluid, a thin ejecta sheet that dominates the early-time dynamics emerges within the first few microseconds. Fluid and impact properties are known to affect its evolution; we experimentally reveal that pool depth is a critical factor too. Whilst ejecta sheets can remain separate and subsequently fold inwards on deeper pools, they instead develop into an outward-propagating lamella on sufficiently shallow pools, undergoing a transition that we delineate by comprehensively varying impact inertia and pool depth. Aided by matching direct numerical simulations (DNS), we find that this transition stems from a confinement effect of the pool base on the impact-induced pressure, which stretches the ejecta sheet to restrict flow into it from the droplet on sufficiently shallow pools. This insight is also applied to elucidate the well-known transition due to Reynolds number.

Supporting data

The data supporting this study (experiment & DNS code; raw data) are contained within our GitHub repository for this study.

J. Fluid Mech.