The interaction of multiple bubbles in a Hele-Shaw channel

Keeler, Jack ORCID:, Gaillard, Antoine, Lawless, Jack, Thompson, Alice, Juel, Anne and Hazel, Andrew (2022) The interaction of multiple bubbles in a Hele-Shaw channel. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 946. ISSN 0022-1120

[thumbnail of Keeler_etal_2022_JoFM]
PDF (Keeler_etal_2022_JoFM) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


We study the dynamics of two air bubbles driven by the motion of a suspending viscous fluid in a Hele-Shaw channel with a small elevation along its centreline via physical experiment and numerical simulation of a depth-averaged model. For a single-bubble system we establish that, in general, the bubble propagation speed monotonically increases with bubble volume so that two bubbles of different sizes, in the absence of any hydrodynamic interactions, will either coalesce or separate in a finite time. However, our experiments indicate that the bubbles interact and that an unstable two-bubble state is responsible for the eventual dynamical outcome: coalescence or separation. These results motivate us to develop an edge-tracking routine and to calculate these weakly unstable two-bubble steady states from the governing equations. The steady states consist of pairs of ‘aligned’ bubbles that appear on the same side of the centreline with the larger bubble leading. We also discover, through time-dependent simulations and physical experiment, another class of two-bubble states that, surprisingly, are stable. In contrast to the ‘aligned’ steady states, these bubbles appear on either side of the centreline and are ‘offset’ from each other. We calculate the bifurcation structures of both classes of steady states as the flow rate and bubble volume ratio are varied. We find that they exhibit intriguing similarities to the single-bubble bifurcation structure, which has implications for the existence of n-bubble steady states.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant numbers EP/P026044/1, EP/T021365/1.
Uncontrolled Keywords: bifurcation,bubble dynamics,condensed matter physics,mechanics of materials,mechanical engineering,applied mathematics ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100/3104
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 01:34
DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2022.618


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item