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Toward direct numerical simulation of high speed droplet impact

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When a liquid drop impacts a solid surface or a liquid film, several outcomes are possible. In particular, splashing phenomena can exhibit complex behaviors, like the formation of very thin crowns and emission of small droplets. Underlying mechanisms are hard to elucidate, partly due to the difficulty for current experimental devices to access the very small length scales involved. Here, we use direct numerical simulation to explore low and high velocity drop impact phenomena. We show that classical incompressible two-phase methods can be sufficient to address low energy impacts and take into account wetting phenomena. However, dedicated robust and conservative methods are needed to simulate splashing phenomenon at higher velocities. In our test cases, we show that an impact on a thick liquid film exhibits thick crown formation and delayed splashing. On a dry wall, on the other hand, splashing phenomenon can be difficult to reproduce even with high velocity impacts. We show however how a higher value of the surrounding air density may trigger splashing. The presence of a very thin liquid film on the wall strongly modifies impact outcome, forcing the ejection of a thin crown and subsequent secondary droplet emission.

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We warmly thank Pierre Berthoumieu and Virginel Bodoc for conducting experiments on this challenging subject, and Pierre Trontin for his feedback on this work. Sincere thanks also to regional calculation center CALMIP for giving us the opportunity to perform the calculations presetend in this article on their new supercomputer OLYMPE [31]. This work was granted access to the HPC resources of CINES under the allocation 2017 - A0032B06115 made by GENCI. This work was granted access to the HPC resources of CALMIP under the allocation 2018 - Project 18043.

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Correspondence to T. Xavier.

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Xavier, T., Zuzio, D., Averseng, M. et al. Toward direct numerical simulation of high speed droplet impact. Meccanica 55, 387–401 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11012-019-00980-x

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  • Multiphase flow
  • Drop impact
  • Splashing phenomenon
  • Direct numerical simulation