Research

When Jets Collide

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When two jets of a viscous liquid collide, they can form a chain-like stream or even a fishbone pattern, depending on the flow rate. This video demonstrates the menagerie of shapes that form not only with changing flow rates but by changing how the jets collide – from a glancing impingement to direct collision. When just touching, the viscous jets generate long threads of fluid that tear off and form tiny satellite droplets. At low flow rates, continuing to bring the jets closer causes them to twist around one another, releasing a series of pinched-off droplets. At higher flow rates, bringing the jets closer to each other creates a thin webbing of fluid between the jets that ultimately becomes a full fishbone pattern when the jets fully collide. The surface-tension-driven Plateau-Rayleigh instability helps drive the pinch-off and break-up into droplets. (Video credit: B. Keshavarz and G. McKinley)

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