Experimental study on interaction and coalescence of synchronized multiple bubbles

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  • Harbin Engineering University


Experiments are carried out on the interaction and coalescence of two, three, and four bubbles with approximately the same sizes, distributed evenly and symmetrically. The bubbles are generated simultaneously by electric discharges, using an in-house designed series circuit, and their interaction is captured using a high-speed camera. Particular attentions are paid to if/when coalescence of bubbles happens and the motion of the joined bubbles. Some new features are observed, which depend mainly on the dimensionless distance γbb = dbb/Rmax, where dbb is the inter-bubble distance and Rmax is the maximum bubble radius. For γbb > 2, a jet forms and penetrates each side bubble, directed to the center of the configuration, resulting in a protrusion. Towards the end of collapse, a large portion of bubble gases is compressed into the protrusion from the main part of the toroidal bubble. For γbb < 2, the bubblescoalesce during expansion, and the part of the joined bubble’s surface distal from the center of the configuration collapses faster than elsewhere. The experiments show that the oscillation period of multi-bubbles does not change appreciably without coalescence but increases significantly with coalescence. For three bubbles initiated at collinear positions with γbb > 2, the jets that form from the side bubbles are towards the middle, and the middle bubble splits into two parts, moving towards the two side bubbles. For γbb < 2, the side bubbles merge with the middle bubble during expansion, forming an ellipsoid bubble; the joined bubble collapses predominantly from two sides, where two inward jets form towards the end of collapse.


Original languageEnglish
Article number012103
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Early online date8 Jan 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2016