Air trapping at impact of a rigid sphere onto a liquid

P.D. Hicks, E.V. Ermanyuk, N.V. Gavrilov, R. Purvis

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55 Citations (Scopus)


An experimental and theoretical investigation of the air trapping by a blunt, locally spherical body impacting onto the free surface of water is conducted. In the parameter regime previously studied theoretically by Hicks & Purvis (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 649, 2010, pp. 135-163), excellent agreement between experimental data and theoretical modelling is obtained. Earlier predictions of the radius of the trapped air pocket are confirmed. A boundary element method is used to consider air cushioning of an impact of an axisymmetric body into water. Efficient computational methods are obtained by analytically integrating the boundary integral equation over the azimuthal variable. The resulting numerically computed free-surface profiles predict an annular touchdown region in excellent agreement with the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Issue number-
Early online date14 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2012


  • bubble dynamics
  • gas/liquid flows


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