Application of the Hydrogen-Bubble Technique for Velocity Measurements in Thin Liquid Films

[+] Author and Article Information
W. C. Thomas, J. C. Rice

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

J. Appl. Mech 40(2), 321-325 (Jun 01, 1973) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3422981 History: Received January 01, 1972; Online July 12, 2010


A unique adaptation of the hydrogen-bubble flow visualization method was applied to measure velocity profiles and film thicknesses of very thin films on an inclined plane wall. Data were obtained in the three flow regions for a developing falling film with an initially uniform velocity profile and thickness ≤0.1 in. The measured profiles compared more favorably with parabolic profiles in the intermediate fully developed region than in the initial developing region. However, measured film thicknesses compared favorably with a simplified solution of the integral momentum equation based on parabolic velocity profiles. The results confirm the theoretical prediction that a relatively long distance may be required even for a thin film before nonaccelerating flow with a constant film thickness is obtained and Nusselt’s classical analysis applies. The experimental technique was shown to be a practical experimental method for obtaining data for the two-dimensional laminar flow of thin liquid films.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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