Drag reduction by coupled systems: Microbubble injection with homogeneous polymer and surfactant solutions

Arnold Anthony Fontaine, S. Deutsch, Timothy A. Brungart, H. L. Petrie, M. Fenstermacker

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The influence of homogeneous surfactant and homogeneous polymer solutions on the performance of microbubble skin friction reduction was investigated on an axisymmetric body. Carbon dioxide was injected into water, homogeneous surfactant (Aerosol OT) solutions, and homogeneous dilute polymer (Polyethylene oxide) solutions. Integrated skin friction measurements were obtained at two freestream velocities as a function of gas injection rate and polyethylene-oxide concentration. A moderate (50%) decrease in surface tension had little to no effect on the drag reducing characteristics of microbubble injection. At similar gas injection rates, microbubble injection exhibited more drag reduction in the polymer solutions than obtained with microbubble injection into water. However, the increased drag reduction obtained with polymer additives was no more than a multiplicative factor related to the baseline levels of drag reduction achieved by the individual methods, and suggests the mechanism for microbubble skin friction reduction acts independently of the polymer drag reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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