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Experimental investigation of thermal structures in regular three-dimensional falling films


Interfacial waves on the surface of a falling liquid film are known to modify heat and mass transfer. Under non-isothermal conditions, the wave topology is strongly influenced by the presence of thermocapillary (Marangoni) forces at the interface which leads to a destabilization of the film flow and potentially to critical film thinning. In this context, the present study investigates the evolution of the surface topology and the evolution of the surface temperature for the case of regularly excited solitary-type waves on a falling liquid film under the influence of a wall-side heat flux. Combining film thickness (chromatic confocal imaging) and surface temperature information (infrared thermography), interactions between hydrodynamics and thermocapillary forces are revealed. These include the formation of rivulets, film thinning and wave number doubling in spanwise direction. Distinct thermal structures on the films’ surface can be associated to characteristics of the surface topology.

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Rietz, M., Rohlfs, W., Kneer, R. et al. Experimental investigation of thermal structures in regular three-dimensional falling films. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 224, 355–368 (2015).

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