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Explosive Leidenfrost droplets

Abstract : We show that Leidenfrost droplets made of an aqueous solution of surfactant undergo a violent explosion for a wide range of initial volumes and concentrations. This unexpected behavior turns out to be triggered by the formation of a gel-like shell during the evaporation when the surface concentration of surfactant reaches some critical value. Shortly thereafter, the temperature sharply increases above the normal boiling point, leading to fast bubble growth, shell stretching, and explosion. However, most of the droplet life is characterized by a self-similar evolution of the radial surfactant distribution during which surface and mean concentrations grow in proportion, independently of the initial conditions. The temperature rise (attributed to boiling point elevation with surface concentration) and nucleation followed by growth of vapor bubbles inside the shell are key features leading to the explosion, differing from the implosion (buckling) scenario reported by other authors.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 9, 2019 - 3:21:21 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 6:17:54 AM

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Florian Moreau, Pierre Colinet, Stéphane Dorbolo. Explosive Leidenfrost droplets. Physical Review Fluids, American Physical Society, 2019, 4 (1), ⟨10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.013602⟩. ⟨hal-02281869⟩



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