Large eddy simulation and experiment of shear breakup in liquid-liquid jet: Formation of ligaments and droplets

Cosan Daskiran, Xinzhi Xue, Fangda Cui, Joseph Katz, Michel C. Boufadel

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10 Scopus citations


Understanding the shear breakup in jet flows and the formation of droplets from ligaments is important to determine the final droplet size distribution (DSD). The initial droplet size, which affects the final DSD, is considered to be generated by the shear breakup. Large eddy simulation (LES) was performed to investigate the shear breakup in liquid-liquid jet flows. The explicit Volume of Fluid (VOF) model with the geometric reconstruction scheme was used to capture the oil-water interface. The estimated oil distribution including wave peaks, ligaments, droplets and water streaks were compared to the experiments with a good agreement. The estimated DSD matched with the measurements favorably well. In the simulation, the formation of droplets with a smooth and curved surface from ligaments or sheet-like structures was obtained. Different mechanisms were observed along with the shear layer including the formation of droplets from ligament through the capillary forces, breakage of a droplet into smaller ones and attachment of a droplet to a ligament. The destructive shear forces and resisting surface tension forces were quantified on stretching and retracting ligaments. The influence of internal viscous force was found to be negligible due to low oil viscosity. The critical capillary number was found to be larger than 5.0 for ligaments breaking with the shear breakup. The capillary number was below unity for retracting ligaments. The coalescence of two equal-sized droplets was obtained in the shear breakup region. The shear stress magnitude at the contact region increased more than two folds. The total surface area decreased nearly 20% after the coalescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108810
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


  • Coalescence
  • Critical capillary number
  • Initial droplet size
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Liquid-liquid jet
  • Shear breakup


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