We study the singular event which took place when conducting an experiment with a liquid bridge aboard the International Space Station. The liquid bridge vibrated unexpectedly for several tens of seconds with an oscillation amplitude larger than 15% of its radius. At first glance, the analysis of the mass force measured by the accelerometer during the oscillation did not show any significant perturbation. However, our study reveals the existence of two small-amplitude vibrations of the experimental setup with practically the resonance frequency of the first lateral mode. These vibrations occurred a few tens of seconds before the liquid bridge oscillation reached its maximum amplitude, produced a mass force with a magnitude of the order of 10−5g. The numerical integration of the non-linear Navier–Stokes equations reproduces remarkably well the free surface oscillations measured in the experiments. It allows us to reconstruct the three-dimensional liquid bridge motion which took place in the experiment. The present study illustrates the sensitivity of liquid bridges in a microgravity environment, where tiny perturbations may produce significant vibrations which survive over long periods of time.
Research Containing: Surface tension
Instability and associated roll structure of Marangoni convection in high Prandtl number liquid bridge with large aspect ratio
This paper reports the experimental results on the instability and associated roll structures (RSs) of Marangoni convection in liquid bridges formed under the microgravity environment on the International Space Station. The geometry of interest is high aspect ratio (AR = height/diameter ≥ 1.0) liquid bridges of high Prandtl number fluids (Pr = 67 and 207) suspended between coaxial disks heated differentially. The unsteady flow field and associated RSs were revealed with the three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry. It is found that the flow field after the onset of instability exhibits oscillations with azimuthal mode number m = 1 and associated RSs traveling in the axial direction. The RSs travel in the same direction as the surface flow (co-flow direction) for 1.00 ≤ AR ≤ 1.25 while they travel in the opposite direction (counter-flow direction) for AR ≥ 1.50, thus showing the change of traveling directions with AR. This traveling direction for AR ≥ 1.50 is reversed to the co-flow direction when the temperature difference between the disks is increased to the condition far beyond the critical one. This change of traveling directions is accompanied by the increase of the oscillation frequency. The characteristics of the RSs for AR ≥ 1.50, such as the azimuthal mode of oscillation, the dimensionless oscillation frequency, and the traveling direction, are in reasonable agreement with those of the previous sounding rocket experiment for AR = 2.50 and those of the linear stability analysis of an infinite liquid bridge.
Dynamic particle accumulation structure (PAS) in half-zone liquid bridge – Reconstruction of particle motion by 3-D PTV
Three-dimensional (3-D) velocity field reconstruction of oscillatory thermocapillary convections in a half-zone liquid bridge with a radius of O (1 mm) was carried out by applying 3-D particle tracking velocimetry (PTV). Simultaneous observation of the particles suspended in the bridge by two CCD cameras was carried out by placing a small cubic beam splitter above a transparent top rod. The reconstruction of the 3-D trajectories and the velocity fields of the particles in the several types of oscillatory-flow regimes were conducted successfully for sufficiently long period without losing particle tracking. With this application the present authors conducted a series of experiments focusing upon the collapse and re-formation process of the PAS by mechanically disturbing fully developed PAS.
Various flow patterns in thermocapillary convection in half-zone liquid bridge of high prandtl number fluid
Various flow patterns induced by a thermocapillary-driven convection in a half-zone liquid bridge of a high Prandtl number fluid (Pr = 0(10)) far beyond the critical condition were investigated experimentally. After the onset of oscillatory convection, one can observe several types of flow patterns with increasing a temperature difference between the both end surfaces of the bridge. The flow patterns were categorized through flow visualization, measurement of surface temperature variation and reconstruction of the pseudo-phase space.
Viscous fingering (VF) is an interfacial hydrodynamic instability phenomenon observed when a fluid of lower viscosity displaces a higher viscous one in a porous media. In miscible viscous fingering, the concentration gradient of the undergoing fluids is an important factor, as the viscosity of the fluids are driven by concentration. Diffusion takes place when two miscible fluids are brought in contact with each other. However, if the diffusion rate is slow enough, the concentration gradient of the two fluids remains very large during some time. Such steep concentration gradient, which mimics a surface tension type force, called the effective interfacial tension, appears in various cases such as aqua-organic, polymer-monomer miscible systems, etc. Such interfacial tension effects on miscible VF is modeled using a stress term called Korteweg stress in the Darcy's equation by coupling with the convection-diffusion equation of the concentration. The effect of the Korteweg stresses at the onset of the instability has been analyzed through a linear stability analysis using a self-similar Quasi-steady-state-approximation (SS-QSSA) in which a self-similar diffusive base state profile is considered. The quasi-steady-state analyses available in literature are compared with the present SS-QSSA method and found that the latter captures appropriately the unconditional stability criterion at an earlier diffusive time as well as in long wave approximation. The effects of various governing parameters such as log-mobility ratio, Korteweg parameters, disturbances' wave number, etc., on the onset of the instability are discussed for, (i) the two semi-infinite miscible fluid zones and (ii) VF of the miscible slice cases. The stabilizing property of the Korteweg stresses effect is observed for both of the above mentioned cases. Critical miscible slice lengths are computed to have the onset of the instability for different governing parameters with or without Korteweg stresses. These stabilizing properties of the Korteweg stresses captured in this present study are in agreement with the numerical simulations of fully nonlinear problem and the experimental observations reported in the literature.
Modeling of the Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement (FMVM) International Space Station experiment with COMSOL MultiPhysics
The purpose of FMVM was to measure the rate of coalescence of two highly viscous liquid drops and correlate the results with the liquid viscosity and surface tension. The experiment takes advantage of the low gravitational force free floating conditions in space allowing the unconstrained coalescence of two nearly spherical drops. The merging of the drops is accomplished by deploying them from a syringe and suspension on Nomex threads. An astronaut’s slow manipulation of one of the drops toward a stationary droplet till there is contact initiates the droplet coalescence. Coalescence and merging occurs due to shape relaxation and reduction of surface energy, being resisted by the viscous drag within the liquid. Experiments were conducted onboard the International Space Station in July of 2004 and subsequently in May of 2005. The coalescence was recorded on video and down-linked near real-time. When the coefficient of surface tension for the liquid is known, the increase in contact radius can be used to determine the coefficient of viscosity for that liquid. The viscosity is determined by fitting the time to achieve contact neck diameter equal to half of the initial droplet diameter. This time is compared with a relaxation time scaling coefficient to arrive at the liquid viscosity. Recent fluid dynamical numerical simulations with COMSOL MultiPhysics of the coalescence process will be presented. The results are important for a better understanding of the coalescence process. The experiment is also relevant to liquid phase sintering, free form in-situ fabrication, and as a potential new method for measuring the viscosity of viscous glass formers at low shear rates.
During the Space Shuttle “down period” a call was put out for low upmass payloads. One of these “low up mass” International Space Station science experiments is the “Fluid merging Viscosity Measurement”, FMVM investigation. The purpose of FMVM is to measure the rate of coalescence of two highly viscous liquid drops and correlate the results with the liquid viscosity and surface tension. The experiment take advantage of the low gravitational free floating conditions in space to permit the unconstrained coalescence of two nearly spherical drops. The merging of the drops is accomplished by deploying them from a syringe and suspending them on 2 Nomex threads followed by the astronaut’s manipulation of one of the drops towards a stationary droplet till contact is achieved. Coalescence and merging occurs due to shape relaxation and reduction of surface energy, being resisted by the viscous drag within the liquid. The coalescence was recorded on video (ISS VTR) and some of the data was downlinked near real-time. A range of drop diameters, different liquids with differing viscosity and surface tensions should yield a large range of experiment parameters used to correlate with theory and to compare with numerical experiments. The results are important for a better understanding of the coalescence process. The experiment is also relevant to liquid phase sintering and is a potential new method for measuring viscosity of viscous glass formers at low shear rates.
The concept of using low gravity experimental data together with fluid dynamical numerical simulations for measuring the viscosity of highly viscous liquids was recently validated on the International Space Station (ISS). After testing the proof of concept for this method with parabolic flight experiments, an ISS experiment was proposed and later conducted onboard the ISS in July, 2004 and subsequently in May of 2005. In that experiment a series of two liquid drops were brought manually together until they touched and then were allowed to merge under the action of capillary forces alone. The merging process was recorded visually in order to measure the contact radius speed as the merging proceeded. Several liquids were tested and for each liquid several drop diameters were used. It has been shown that when the coefficient of surface tension for the liquid is known, the contact radius speed can then determine the coefficient of viscosity for that liquid. The viscosity is determined by fitting the experimental speed to theoretically calculated contact radius speed for the same experimental parameters. Experimental and numerical results will be presented in which the viscosity of different highly viscous liquids were determined, to a high degree of accuracy, using this technique.