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Published July 1, 1984 | public
Journal Article Open

The stability of an evaporating liquid surface


A linearized stability analysis is carried out for an evaporating liquid surface with a view of understanding some observations with highly superheated liquids. The analytical results of this study depend on the unperturbed temperature near the liquid surface. The absence of this data renders a comparison with experiment impossible. However, on the basis of several different assumptions for this temperature distribution, instabilities of the interface of a rapidly evaporating liquid are found for a range of wavenumbers of the surface wave perturbation. At large evaporating mass flow rates the instability is very strong with growth times of a millisecond or less. A discussion of the physical mechanism leading to the instability is given.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1984 American Institute of Physics (Received 26 July 1983; accepted 10 January 1984) For comments regarding the significance of vorticity in the the present problem we are indebted to Professor F. Marble to whose work we were directed by Professor B. Sturtevant and Dr. J. Shepherd. This study has been carried out as part of National Science Foundation Grant MEA 81-105542. One of us, (A.P.) wishes to acknowledge travel support received from Ministero della Publica Instruzione of Italy.


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