Experimental visualizations of the three dimensional (3D) convection patterns generated near an evaporating meniscus in horizontally oriented capillary tubes are presented. These patterns are caused due to the differential evaporation along the meniscus. In this study, transparent capillary tubes with refractive index close to that of the evaporating liquid were used to minimize refraction effects and obtain velocity vectors near the walls. Polystyrene fluorescent particles of 0.5 μm diameter suspended in methanol were used to make the measurements in tubes of 75, 200 and 400 μm diameter. For the 75 μm tube, gravity was observed to have no effect on the flow patterns and an axisymmetric counter-rotating vortex pair was present along the horizontal and vertical center planes, suggesting the presence of a toroidal vortex near the meniscus. With an increase in tube size, buoyancy effects became apparent as the axisymmetric pattern broke down. A counter-rotating symmetric vortex pair was observed in the horizontal center plane, whereas in the vertical center plane, a single vortex dominated the flow and pushed the secondary vortex to a corner. Particle streak and μPIV images were obtained in multiple horizontal planes and a vertical center plane to understand this 3D flow behavior.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 23, 2007
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