Droplet traffic at a simple junction at low capillary numbers

When a train of confined droplets flowing through a channel reaches a junction: the droplets either alternately distribute between the different outlets or all collect into the shortest one. We here show that this behavior is due to the hydrodynamic feed-back of drops in the different outlets on the selection process occurring at the junction. A ?mean field? model, yielding semi quantitative results, offers a first guide to predict droplet traffic in branched networks.

– Publié dans Physical Review Letters