Dynamic simulations of flows of bubbly liquids at large reynolds numbers

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143 Scopus citations


Results of dynamic simulations of bubbles rising through a liquid are presented. The Reynolds number of the flow based on the radius and the terminal speed of bubbles is large compared to unity, and the Weber number, which is the ratio of inertial to surface tension forces, is small. It is assumed that the bubbles do not coalesce when they approach each other but rather bounce instantaneously, conserving the momentum and the kinetic energy of the system. The flow of the liquid is assumed to be irrotational and is determined by solving the many-bubble interaction problem exactly. The viscous force on the bubbles is estimated from the rate of viscous energy dissipation. It is shown that the random state of bubbly liquids under these conditions is unstable and that the bubbles form aggregates in planes transverse to gravity. These aggregates form even when the size distribution of the bubbles is non-uniform. While the instability results primarily from the nature of inertial interaction among pairs of bubbles, which causes them to be attracted toward each other when they are aligned in the plane perpendicular to gravity, it is shown that the presence of viscous forces facilitates the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-337
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - May 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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