The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 192, Issue 1, pp 3–12 | Cite as

The mechanics of particle accumulation structures in thermocapillary flows

Regular Article


The motion of small particles suspended in a cylindrical thermocapillary liquid bridge is considered. Owing to geometry and surface stresses the streamlines gather near the cylindrical free surface and provoke particle–free-surface collisions. We show numerically that tracers which are perfect but of finite size can accumulate on closed trajectories. A simple model is proposed to explain the attraction of particles to the closed trajectory based on the flow topology in the vicinity of a closed streamline which comes sufficiently close to the free surface and on particle–free-surface collisions which transfer particles among different streamlines.


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Vienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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