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Convective Instabilities in Two Liquid Layers



Geoffrey B. McFadden, Sam R. Coriell, Katharine F. Gurski, David Cotrell


We perform linear stability calculations for horizontal fluid bilayers, taking into account both buoyancy effects and thermocapillary effects in the presence of a vertical temperature gradient. To help understand the mechanisms driving the instability we have performed both long-wavelength and short-wavelength analyses. The mechanism for the large wavelength instability is complicated, and the detailed form of the expansion is found to depend on the Crispation and Bond numbers. The system also allows a conventional Rayleigh-Taylor instability if heavier fluid overlies lighter fluid, and the long-wavelength analysis describes this case as well. In addition to the asymptotic analyses for large and small wavelengths, we have performed numerical calculations using materials parameters for a benzene-water system.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


bilayer, fluid dynamics, hydrodynamic stability, Marangoni convection, Rayleigh-Benard convection, water-benzene system


McFadden, G. , Coriell, S. , Gurski, K. and Cotrell, D. (2007), Convective Instabilities in Two Liquid Layers, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created December 31, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021