Undergraduate Research & Mentoring Program

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Microfluidics, Jets -- Fluid dynamics, Reduced gravity environments


Liquid jets rebound (‘bounce’) from superhydrophobic surfaces when they impinge at oblique angles. We call this interesting phenomena ‘jet bounce’ and in this work we investigate the phenomena at large length scales in a reduced gravitational environment. For example, for water at Reynolds numbers 0 < Re < 3500 and surface normal Weber numbers 0 < We < 60 we characterize the response of the jets on the hydrophobic surface in the brief 2.1s micro-gravity environment achieved using a drop tower. It is observed that by varying jet velocity, flow rate, jet diameter, and incident angle we observe up to four distinct regimes of behavior. The various regimes may be targeted for specific applications and we demonstrate a variety of unique jet bounce behaviors for applications such as no-touch, no-contact fluid-thermal transport for spacecraft unit operations such as contaminated water processing, device cooling, and cryogenic fluids transport and management.

Stable jet bounce from small diameter jet ≈ 1 mm and low impact angle. Characterizing Reynolds number ≈ 900 and normal Weber number ≤ 10 allow jet bounce to rebound in non-destructive behavior.

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