20 November 2016
QNEM and Nano’s on board
15 November 2016

JEREMI : Japanese European Research Experiments on Marangoni Instabilities

Fluids in microgravity, control of hydrothermal instabilities, two-phase flow, shear and capillary stresses on deformable interfaces, particle accumulation structure.
Start/end dates
April 2008 – December 2015
The international project JEREMI is endorsed to fly on the International Space Station (ISS) with a tentative launch date in 2014. The experiment will use the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility of JAXA (Japanese Space Agency). The project addresses the problem of interfacial flow control and heat and mass transfer in two-phase systems. This important subject is directly related to many industrial applications, from crystal growth to cooling of electronic devices. The experimental idea is to control the oscillatory Marangoni instability by flow parallel to the liquid surface in the geometry of liquid bridge. On the ground this surface tension-driven (Marangoni) convection is masked by buoyancy-driven convection. From the fundamental point of view, the problem can be considered as a paradigmatic example of nonlinear dynamics in essentially non-parallel flows. From the applied point of view, the liquid bridge is a scientific model of the industrial floating-zone technique for growing the best quality of semiconductor crystals, widely used in electronics. ESA Topical Team has been created in May 2006 with the aim to develop a consolidated European research team in this field in order to identify those aspects and topics, which could benefit from experimental opportunities under reduced gravity.

The research group “Non-linear phenomena in fluids” (NLF) led by V. Shevtsova is extensively working on the project. The objectives of the research of NLF group are three-fold:

  • Numerical study on Marangoni convection in 5cSt silicone oil liquid bridge in exact experimental geometry. The liquid bridge is a small volume of liquid suspended between two solid rods, one cold and the other hot. The gas stream, pumped in the cylindrical duct, may come from the hot or cold side. The deformed gas/liquid interface is exerted to the simultaneous action of shear and thermo-capillary stresses.
  • Experimental development of the ground prototype in order to study the physical parameters of the system and make the best choice of the flight model design. The open point of the flight design is the temperature control of gas flow. We suggest an ingenious design, in which the lateral sides of rods are thermally insulated and only the part of the rods that are in contact with the liquid are heated/cooled. The design can be adapted for the flight model, provided its successful operation in laboratory tests.
  • An intriguing phenomenon of self-assembly of small particles into dynamic spirals (PAS) was discovered in Liquid bridge flows more than a decade ago. Despite the numerous experimental studies on the ground and in microgravity, the effect has remained unexplained. We reproduce and study PAS formation in direct 3D numerical simulations and in a generic family of analytical model flows. We trace the spontaneous emergence of one-dimensional particulate spirals to the nonlinear phenomenon of phase locking. Our study reveals that the effect is not limited to thermo-capillary flows and therefore may have a broad significance in applications ranging from microfluidics to atmospheric and planetary sciences.
Flight opportunities
International Space Station, Japanese module KIBO: the tentative launch date is 2014.
  • Novel features of three-dimensional hydrothermal instabilities (bimodal regime) have been found.
  • A new model (phase locking) for particle accumulation structure (PAS) has been developed. The modeling is based on the nonlinear dynamics approach and is supported by our 3D direct numerical simulations.
  • The flow dynamic in deformed liquid bridge driven by shear stresses have been studied numerically and experimentally.

The details on these particular latest findings one may find in recent selected publications:
  • Pushkin, D.E. Melnikov, V. Shevtsova, Particle self-ordering in periodic flows. Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 234501 (2011).
  • Shevtsova V., Melnikov D.E., Nepomnyashchy A., New flow regimes generated by mode coupling in buoyant-thermocapillary convection, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 102, 134503 (2009).
  • Gaponenko Yu., Mialdun A., Shevtsova V., Shear driven two-phase flows in vertical cylindrical duct, accepted to J. Multi Phase Flow, 2011.





Research Network

  • ESA, Topical Team “Marangoni instabilities in systems with cylindrical symmetry”