Experimental analysis of droplet coalescence and transport mechanisms on a single vertical fiber

  • Author:

    A. Schwarzwälder, J. Meyer, A. Dittler

  • Source:

    Experiments in Fluids, 2023, 64, 103,  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00348-023-03628-5 (open access)

  • In mist filtration, fiber-based coalescers are an established form of filtering droplets contained in mist. The filtration process can be divided into different process steps, describing the impact of the droplets on fibers, the formation of fluid structures and the liquid transport. In order to investigate mechanisms inside depth filters on a microscopic level, investigations are often reduced to single fibers. In this work, the coalescence and transport mechanisms of axially distributed water droplets on a vertical fiber, subjected to gravity, are reported. This is done with the latest high-speed camera technology commercially available. Automated tracking of droplets is used for a frame-by-frame investigation of droplet position, size, and oscillation. Coalescence mechanisms describe the process of fluid formation. The first observed coalescence mechanism is identified by the coalescence of droplets contained in mist with an adhering droplet at the fiber. The second coalescence mechanism describes the coalescence of two closely spaced sessile droplets on a fiber. As a result, the newly formed droplet oscillates and can begin to drain. Furthermore, the coalescence process of a draining and sessile droplet is reported. Both the draining droplet and the second droplet involved in the coalescence event can be subject to oscillation. The given temporal high- resolution information about the droplet position and deformation improves the understanding of droplet coalescence on fibers and by that also its influence on transport processes and therefore droplet drainage. Observed transport mechanisms which take part in the drainage process are gravitational draining, droplet bouncing, and droplet sweeping.