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The dynamics of a viscous soap film with soluble surfactant

Jean-Marc Chomaz 1, * 
Abstract : Nearly two decades ago, Couder (1981) and Gharib and Derango (1989) used soap films to perform classical hydrodynamics experiments on two-dimensional flows. Recently soap films have received renewed interest and experimental investigations published in the past few years call for a proper analysis of soap film dynamics. In the present paper, we derive the leading-order approximation for the dynamics of a flat soap film under the sole assumption that the typical length scale of the flow parallel to the film surface is large compared to the film thickness. The evolution equations governing the leading-order film thickness, two-dimensional velocities (locally averaged across the film thickness), average surfactant concentration in the interstitial liquid, and surface surfactant concentration are given and compared to similar results from the literature. Then we show that a sufficient condition for the film velocity distribution to comply with the Navier-Stokes equations is that the typical flow velocity be small compared to the Marangoni elastic wave velocity. In that case the thickness variations are slaved to the velocity field in a very specific way that seems consistent with recent experimental observations. When fluid velocities are of the order of the elastic wave speed, we show that the dynamics are generally very specific to a soap film except if the fluid viscosity and the surfactant solubility are neglected. In that case, the compressible Euler equations are recovered and the soap film behaves like a two-dimensional gas with an unusual ratio of specific heat capacities equal to unity.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 1:17:15 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 27, 2020 - 1:00:05 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, December 12, 2014 - 10:06:44 AM


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Jean-Marc Chomaz. The dynamics of a viscous soap film with soluble surfactant. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2001, 442 (september), pp.387-409. ⟨10.1017/s0022112001005213⟩. ⟨hal-01025351⟩



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