A runback criterion for water drops in a turbulent accelerated boundary layer Academic Article uri icon


  • Predicting the runback threshold for liquid drops in aerodynamic boundary layers is a challenging problem with numerous applications including aircraft icing simulations. The critical parameters that govern drop runback are investigated in this experiment by using a wind tunnel that provides a turbulent accelerated flow similar to flows near an unswept wings leading edge. The experiments feature water drops on aluminum with a contact angle of 705deg. Results show that significant waterair interface unsteadiness precedes drop runback. This is likely due to air-flow separation in the drop wakes. For displacement-thickness-scaled Reynolds numbers ranging from 348 to 429, a constant-Weber-number runback threshold We=3.450.09 is found to adequately correlate the runback results.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • White, E. B., & Schmucker, J. A.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • White, Edward B||Schmucker, Jason A

publication date

  • June 2008