Analysis of diffusion-induced bubble growth in viscoelastic liquids

D. C. Venerus, N. Yala, B. Bernstein

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73 Scopus citations


Transport models of diffusion-induced bubble growth in viscoelastic liquids are developed and evaluated. A rigorous model is formulated that can be used to describe bubble growth or collapse in a non-linear viscoelastic fluid, and takes into account convective and diffusive mass transport as well as surface tension and inertial effects. Predictions for bubble growth dynamics demonstrating the importance of fluid elasticity are presented. These predictions indicate that for diffusion-induced bubble growth in viscoelastic liquids, the lower bound for growth rate is given by growth in a Newtonian fluid and the upper bound by diffusion-controlled growth. The influence of non-linear fluid rheology on bubble growth dynamics is examined and found to be relatively minor in comparison to fluid elasticity. It is shown how previously published models employing various approximations can be derived from the rigorous model. Comparisons of predicted bubble growth dynamics from the rigorous and approximate models are used to establish the ranges of applicability for two commonly-used approximations. These comparisons indicate that models using a thin boundary layer approximation have a rather limited range of applicability. An analysis of published experimental bubble growth data is also carried out using appropriate transport models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-75
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Bubble growth
  • Non-linear viscoelasticity
  • Viscoelastic mass diffusion


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