Liquid bridges and rivulets

A liquid/gas interface stretched between two solid boundaries forms a liquid bridge. Capillary elements such as the liquid bridge are ubiquitous in nature and relevant to microgravity applications, enhanced oil recovery, biomimetics and many medical technologies. The problem with many such applications is that the liquid bridge is susceptible to capillary break-up. The most well-known example can be attributed to J.F. Plateau (1863), who showed that a cylindrical liquid interface breaks up into a series of droplets for lengths longer than its base-state circumference.

We are interested in the stability of liquid bridges, such as the toroid and pendular ring. More recently, we have been studying fluid rivulets focusing on contact-line motion and the wetting properties of the solid substrate. 

Varicose (top) and sinuous (bottom) rivulet instabilities

  1. J.B. Bostwick and P.H. Steen. "Liquid bridge shape stability by energy bounding." IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics. 80 (6), 1759-1775 , (2015)  [Link]
  2. J.B. Bostwick and P.H. Steen. "Stability of constrained cylindrical interfaces and the torus lift of Plateau-Rayleigh". Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 647, 201-219, (2010). [Link]
  3. J.B. Bostwick and P.H. Steen. "Rivulet instabilities: varicose and sinuous modes." in preparation.