Gravitational effects on evaporative convection at microscale

Khellil Sefiane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermocapillary convection induced by phase change (evaporation) has been investigated in confined environment. This paper introduces some insight into the physics of evaporatively-driven thermocapillary convection and emphasizes on the interaction between the observed convection and gravity. Non-equilibrium interfacial conditions lead to temperature/surface tension gradients which drive convective patterns. The latent heat of evaporation leads to an important cooling effect near the triple contact line. Evaporation of volatile liquids in capillary tubes is experimentally investigated to demonstrate the above effects. The size of the capillaries is found to be an important factor in the effect that gravity could have on thermocapillary convection. The oscillatory behaviour observed when buoyancy affects thermocapillary convection could be explained through the coupling between interfacial temperature and the flow within the liquid. The three dimensional nature of the flow structure is found to extend the effect of gravity to the horizontal section of the flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalMicrogravity Science and Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventBiannual Symposium and General Assembly of the European-Low-Gravity-Research-Association (ELGRA) - Santorini Isl, Greece
Duration: 21 Sep 200523 Sep 2005




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