Experiments in Fluids

, 56:76 | Cite as

Height-resolved velocity measurement of the boundary flow during liquid impact on dry and wetted solid substrates

  • Philipp Erhard FrommholdEmail author
  • Robert Mettin
  • Claus-Dieter Ohl
Research Article


The impact of a droplet onto a dry or wet surface leads to a rapid formation of a shear flow at the boundary. We present a novel method to experimentally resolve this flow in time at different heights above the solid. The radial flow field close to the substrate is reconstructed by evaluation of streak images of fluorescent tracer particles in the liquid. By using a microscope objective with a narrow depth of field, it is possible to scan through the flow in thin horizontal layers of 5 μm thickness. We focus on the flow close (≤40 μm) to the boundary during the impact of elongated drops with diameters of 0.3–0.4 mm and speeds in the range of 2–3 m s−1. The spatial resolution is obtained from several individual events of the repeatable impact process and varying the focal plane. Fluorescent streaks formed by the suspended particles are recorded with high-speed photography at up to 20,000 frames per second. The impact of water and of ethanol is investigated both on dry glass and on glass covered with a thin film of the same liquid. Results are given as spatio-temporal maps of radial flow velocity at different heights, and the maximum shear stress at the substrate is evaluated. The implications of the results are discussed with respect to cleaning applications.


Wall Shear Stress Radial Velocity Liquid Film Drop Impact Liquid Front 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank W. Lauterborn for valuable comments regarding the manuscript. The financial support by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth and the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development is gratefully acknowledged as is the support from Lam Research AG. Special thanks go to Chan Chon U for inspiring discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Erhard Frommhold
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert Mettin
    • 1
  • Claus-Dieter Ohl
    • 2
  1. 1.Christian Doppler Laboratory for Cavitation and Micro-Erosion, Drittes Physikalisches InstitutGeorg-August-University GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical SciencesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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