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Asymmetric deformation of bubble shape: cause or effect of vortex-shedding?

Kamil Wichterle, Marek Večeř, and Marek C. Růžička

Department of Chemistry, VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 15, 70833, Ostrava Poruba, Czech Republic



Abstract: Two perpendicular projections of rising bubbles were observed in counter-current downstream diverging flow. Evidently, the bubbles did not enter the boundary layer at the channel wall and a plug liquid flow assumption was acceptable in our experimental equipment. This confirmed that the experiment was appropriate for simulation of bubble rises in a quiescent liquid column. Recent data obtained by a high-speed camera permitted recording over a period of 60 s. Image analysis by a tailor-made program provided a time-series of quantities related to the position, size, and shape of bubbles. In addition to determination of the aspect ratio of the equivalent oblate ellipsoid, deviation from this shape was investigated in respect of the difference between the bubble’s centre of mass and the geometrical centre of bubble projection. Autocorrelation of the data indicated that the bubble inclination oscillated harmonically with a frequency of 5–10 Hz; cross correlation showed that the horizontal shift of the centre of mass, as well as the horizontal velocity, increased with increasing bubble inclination, and the vertical shift of the centre of mass increased with an increases in the absolute value of the bubble inclination. There is no significant phase shift in the oscillation of these quantities. The bulky bottom side of the bubbles is in accordance with the model of bubble oscillation induced by instability of the equilibrium of gravity and surface tension forces. The oscillation frequency dependence on surface forces (Eötvös number) is evident, while viscosity does not play a significant role in low-viscosity liquids. Therefore, vortex-shedding is more likely to be an effect of the oscillation and not its cause.

Keywords: bubble – bubble shape – bubble velocity – bubble oscillation – surface tension

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-013-0406-9


Chemical Papers 68 (1) 74–79 (2014)

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