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Title: Semi-infinite and finite bubble propagation in the presence of a channel-depth perturbation
Author: Franco Gomez, Andres
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 1381
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2018
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The two-phase flow displacement of a viscous fluid by a less viscous one in a confined environment leads to a viscous fingering instability commonly encountered in natural systems, for example, in flows through porous media or pulmonary airways. The classical study of viscous fingering has been conducted in rectangular channels of high aspect ratio (large channel width/height), known as Hele-Shaw channels where a unique, steady symmetric, semi-infinite bubble (finger) emerges. In this Journal Format thesis, the propagation of semi-infinite (open) and finite (closed) air bubbles is considered in Hele-Shaw channels where thin, axially-uniform occlusions are introduced. This configuration is known to generate symmetric, asymmetric and oscillatory modes with complex interactions and rich behaviour. Numerical results of finger propagation using a depth-averaged model in these constricted channels are found to be in quantitative agreement with experimental results once the aspect ratio reaches a value of $\alpha\geq40$ and capillary numbers below $Ca\leq 0.012$. The same evolution of the bifurcation scenario between multiple modes is found, however, it occurs for decreasing values of occlusion height as the value of aspect ratio is increased that the system exhibits sensitivity to small but finite depth-variations. The numerical simulations reveal multiple-tipped unstable symmetric solutions which interact with the single symmetric mode at vanishing occlusion heights resulting in stabilisation of the asymmetric and oscillatory modes. Moreover, deviations from the single symmetric mode are predicted when depth-variations of order of the roughness of the channel walls ($\sim 1$ $\mu$m) are introduced for larger aspect ratios of $\alpha\geq 155$. The propagation of finite bubbles is studied in a channel with constant aspect ratio of $\alpha=30$ and where the height of the occlusion, termed rail, is $1/40$ of the channel height. For bubble diameters of the order of the rail width, a tongue-shaped stability boundary for symmetric (on-rail) propagation is encountered so that for flow rates marginally larger than a critical value, a narrow band of bubble sizes can propagate (stably) over the rail while bubbles of other sizes segregate to the side of the rail. The numerical depth-averaged model is adapted for bubble propagation and captures in qualitative agreement the experimental observations. Time-dependent calculations are additionally performed, showing that on-rail bubble propagation is the result of a non-trivial dynamical interaction between capillary and viscous forces.
Supervisor: Hazel, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Two phase-flow ; Saffman-Taylor instability ; Bubble dynamics