The Extent to Which the Continuum Treatment Holds in Binary Droplet Collisions is Examined in the Present Work by using a Continuum-Based Implicit Surface Capturing Strategy (Volume-Of-Fluid Coupled to Navier-Stokes) and a Molecular Dynamics Methodology. the Droplet Pairs Are Arranged in a Head-On-Collision Configuration with an Initial Separation Distance of 5.3 Nm and a Velocity of 3 Ms-1. the Size of Droplets Ranges from 10-50 Nm. Inspecting the Results, the Collision Process Can Be Described as Consisting of Two Periods: A Preimpact Phase that Ends with the Initial Contact of Both Droplets, and a Postimpact Phase Characterized by the Merging, Deformation, and Coalescence of the Droplets. the Largest Difference between the Continuum and Molecular Dynamics (MD) Predictions is Observed in the Preimpact Period, Where the Continuum-Based Viscous and Pressure Drag Forces Significantly overestimate the MD Predictions. Due to Large Value of Knudsen Number in the Gas (Kngas=1.972), This Behavior is Expected. Besides the Differences between Continuum and MD, It is Also Observed that the Continuum Simulations Do Not Converge for the Set of Grid Sizes Considered. This is Shown to Be Directly Related to the Initial Velocity Profile and the Minute Size of the Nanodroplets. for Instance, for Micrometer-Size Droplets, This Numerical Sensitivity is Not an Issue. during the Postimpact Period, Both MD and Continuum-Based Simulations Are Strikingly Similar, with Only a Moderate Difference in the Peak Kinetic Energy Recorded during the Collision Process. with Values for the Knudsen Number in the Liquid (Knliquid=0.01 for D=36nm) Much Closer to the Continuum Regime, This Behavior is Expected. the 50 Nm Droplet Case is Sufficiently Large to Be Predicted Reasonably Well with the Continuum Treatment. However, for Droplets Smaller Than Approximately 36 Nm, the Departure from Continuum Behavior Becomes Noticeably Pronounced, and Becomes Drastically Different for the 10 Nm Droplets.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


National Science Foundation, Grant 1402587

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2470-0053; 2470-0045

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 American Physical Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

09 May 2016