Droplet breakup in a stagnation-point flow

Alireza Hooshanginejad, Cari Dutcher, Michael J. Shelley, Sungyon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We experimentally and theoretically investigate the dynamics of a partially wetting water droplet subject to a two-dimensional high-speed jet of air blowing perpendicularly to the substrate. When the jet velocity is above a critical value, the droplet evolves under wind and splits into two secondary drops. In addition to droplet splitting, we observe depinning of the droplet on one side when the jet is applied at a small distance from the initial centre of the droplet. In parallel with systematic experiments, we develop a mathematical model to compute the coupled evolution of the droplet and an idealised stagnation-point flow. Our simplified lubrication model yields a criterion for the critical jet velocity, as well as the time scale of the droplet breakup, in qualitative agreement with the experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA19
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2020


  • drops
  • high-speed flow
  • lubrication theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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