On the thermocapillary Instabilities in a liquid layer heated from below

D. A. Goussis, R. E. Kelly

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The instability due to thermocapillary forces at the free surface of a horizontal liquid layer heated from below is studied. It is shown that there exist two distinct mechanisms by which thermal effects can lead to a destabilizing thermocapillary force. One mechanism is associated with the modification of the basic temperature by the deformation of the free surface and generates long wavelength disturbances. The other mechanism is associated with the interaction of the basic temperature with the perturbation velocity field and generates disturbances the wavelength of which is of the same order as the layer depth. When the temperature difference across the layer is small, instability occurs when the layer is sufficiently thin. For larger temperature differences, thin and thick layers are unstable, while layers of moderate depth are stable. When the temperature difference is beyond a certain value, there is no depth that will render the layer stable. These results, as well as others describing the stability of the layer, are obtained in a clear manner by use of non-dimensional parameters which are appropriate for a comparison of theoretical results with experimental data.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2237-2245
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1990


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