Contraction of free liquid ligaments



This article presents an experimental and theoretical study on the contraction of free, stable, and inviscid liquid ligaments under the action of surface tension forces. The ligament is considered as two blobs of arbitrary initial sizes connected by a central column with a constant and uniform radius. Based on the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy, a theoretical model is developed to predict the ligament length as a function of time, thereby predicting the lifetime of the ligament. The theoretical results are compared with our experimental measurements of the transient length of liquid ligaments ejected from an inkjet printhead, showing good agreement. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2008