Report on Microgravity Experiments of Dynamic Surface Deformation Effects on Marangoni Instability in High-Prandtl-Number Liquid Bridges

  • Taishi Yano
  • Koichi Nishino
  • Satoshi Matsumoto
  • Ichiro Ueno
  • Atsuki Komiya
  • Yasuhiro Kamotani
  • Nobuyuki Imaishi
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Interdisciplinary Science Challenges for Gravity Dependent Phenomena in Physical and Biological Systems


This paper reports an overview and some important results of microgravity experiments called Dynamic Surf, which have been conducted on board the International Space Station from 2013 to 2016. The present project mainly focuses on the relations between the Marangoni instability in a high-Prandtl-number (Pr= 67 and 112) liquid bridge and the dynamic free surface deformation (DSD) as well as the interfacial heat transfer. The dynamic free surface deformations of large-scale liquid bridges (say, for diameters greater than 10 mm) are measured with good accuracy by an optical imaging technique. It is found that there are two causes of the dynamic free surface deformation in the present study: the first is the time-dependent flow behavior inside the liquid bridge due to the Marangoni instability, and the second is the external disturbance due to the residual acceleration of gravity, i.e., g-jitter. The axial distributions of DSD along the free surface are measured for several conditions. The critical parameters for the onset of oscillatory Marangoni convection are also measured for various aspect ratios (i.e., relative height to the diameter) of the liquid bridge and various thermal boundary conditions. The characteristics of DSD and the onset conditions of instability are discussed in this paper.


Marangoni convection Liquid bridge High Prandtl number Dynamic free surface deformation Interfacial heat transfer G-jitter 



The authors would like to thank the members of Dynamic Surf project for their contributions to this work. This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI (Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B), 16K18011, and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 17K06190).


  1. Carotenuto, L., Castagnolo, D., Albanese, C., Monti, R.: Instability of thermocapillary convection in liquid bridges. Phys. Fluids 10(3), 555–565 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ferrera, C., Montanero, J.M., Mialdun, A., Shevtsova, V.M., Cabezas, M.G.: A new experimental technique for measuring the dynamical free surface deformation in liquid bridges due to thermal convection. Meas. Sci. Technol. 19(1), 015410 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ferrera, C., Herrada, M.A., Montanero, J.M.: Analysis of a resonance liquid bridge oscillation on board of the International Space Station. Eur. J. Mech. B Fluids 57, 15–21 (2016)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kamotani, Y., Ostrach, S.: Theoretical analysis of thermocapillary flow in cylindrical columns of high Prandtl number fluids. J. Heat Transf. 120(3), 758–764 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kamotani, Y., Wang, A., Hatta, S., Wang, A., Yoda, S.: Free surface heat loss effect on oscillatory thermocapillary flow in liquid bridges of high Prandtl number fluids. Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 46(17), 3211–3220 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kanashima, Y., Nishino, K., Yoda, S.: Effect of g-jitter on the thermocapillary convection experiment in ISS. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 16(1–4), 285–289 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kawamura, H., Nishino, K., Matsumoto, S., Ueno, I.: Report on microgravity experiments of Marangoni convection aboard international space station. J. Heat Transf. 134(3), 031005 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kuhlmann, H.C.: Thermocapillary Convection in Models of Crystal Growth. Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1999)Google Scholar
  9. Kuhlmann, H.C., Nienhüser, Ch: Dynamic free-surface deformations in thermocapillary liquid bridges. Fluid Dyn. Res. 31(2), 103–127 (2002)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  10. Lotto, M.A., Johnson, K.M., Nie, C.W., Klaus, D.M.: The impact of reduced gravity on free convective heat transfer from a finite, flat, vertical plate. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 29(5), 371–379 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Masud, J., Kamotani, Y., Ostrach, S.: Oscillatory thermocapillary flow in cylindrical columns of high Prandtl number fluids. J. Thermophys. Heat Transf. 11(1), 105–111 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Melnikov, D.E., Shevtsova, V., Yano, T., Nishino, K.: Modeling of the experiments on the Marangoni convection in liquid bridges in weightlessness for a wide range of aspect ratios. Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 87, 119–127 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Montanero, J.M., Ferrera, C., Shevtsova, V.M.: Experimental study of the free surface deformation due to thermal convection in liquid bridges. Exp. Fluids 45(6), 1087–1101 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nishino, K., Kasagi, N., Hirata, M.: Three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry based on automated digital image processing. J. Fluid Eng. 111(4), 384–391 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nishino, K., Kato, H., Torii, K.: Stereo imaging for simultaneous measurement of size and velocity of particles in dispersed two-phase flow. Meas. Sci. Technol. 11(6), 633–345 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nishino, K., Yano, T., Kawamura, H., Matsumoto, S., Ueno, I., Ermakov, M.K.: Instability of thermocapillary convection in long liquid bridges of high Prandtl number fluids in microgravity. J. Cryst. Growth 420, 57–63 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Preisser, F., Schwabe, D., Scharmann, A.: Steady and oscillatory thermocapillary convection in liquid columns with free cylindrical surface. J. Fluid Mech. 126, 545–567 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sanz, A., Diez, J.L.: Non-axisymmetric oscillations of liquid bridges. J. Fluid Mech 205, 503–521 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schwabe, D., Scharmann, A.: Some evidence for the existence and magnitude of a critical Marangoni number for the onset of oscillatory flow in crystal growth melts. J. Cryst. Growth 46(1), 125–131 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schwabe, D.: Hydrothermal waves in a liquid bridge with aspect ratio near the Rayleigh limit under microgravity. Phys. Fluids 17(11), 112104 (2005)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. Schwabe, D.: Thermocapillary liquid bridges and Marangoni convection under microgravity−Results and lessons learned. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 26(1), 1–10 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shevtsova, V.M., Mialdun, A., Mojahed, M.: A study of heat transfer in liquid bridges near onset of instability. J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn. 30(3), 261–281 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shevtsova, V., Mialdun, A., Ferrera, C., Ermakov, M., Cabezas, M.G., Montanero, J.M.: Subcritical and oscillatory dynamic surface deformations in non-cylindrical liquid bridges. Fluid Dyn. Mater. Process. 4(1), 43–54 (2008)Google Scholar
  24. Shevtsova, V., Gaponenko, Y., Kuhlmann, H.C., Lappa, M., Lukasser, M., Matsumoto, S., Mialdun, A., Montanero, J.M., Nishino, K., Ueno, I.: The JEREMI-project on thermocapillary convection in liquid bridges. Part B: Overview on impact of co-axial gas flow. Fluid Dyn. Mater. Process. 10(2), 197–240 (2014)Google Scholar
  25. Shu, J.Z., Yao, Y.L., Zhou, R., Hu, W.R.: Experimental study of free surface oscillations of a liquid bridge by optical diagnostics. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 7(2), 83–89 (1994)Google Scholar
  26. Slobozhanin, L.A., Perales, J.M.: Stability of liquid bridges between equal disks in a axial gravity field. Phys. Fluids A 5(6), 1305–1314 (1993)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. Ueno, I., Kawazoe, A., Enomoto, H.: Effect of ambient-gas forced flow on oscillatory thermocapillary convection of half-zone liquid bridge. Fluid Dyn. Mater. Process. 6(1), 99–108 (2010)Google Scholar
  28. Wanschura, M., Shevtsova, V.M., Kuhlmann, H.C., Rath, H.J.: Convective instability mechanisms in thermocapillary liquid bridges. Phys. Fluids 7(5), 912–925 (1995)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  29. Yano, T., Nishino, K.: Effect of liquid bridge shape on the oscillatory thermal Marangoni convection. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top 224(2), 289–298 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yano, T., Maruyama, K., Matsunaga, T., Nishino, K.: Effect of ambient gas flow on the instability of Marangoni convection in liquid bridges of various volume ratio. Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 99, 182–191 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yano, T., Nishino, K., Ueno, I., Matsumoto, S., Kamotani, Y.: Sensitivity of hydrothermal wave instability of Marangoni convection to the interfacial heat transfer in long liquid bridges of high Prandtl number fluids. Phys. Fluids 29(4), 044105 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yokohama National UniversityKanagawaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Aerospace Exploration AgencyIbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Tokyo University of ScienceChibaJapan
  4. 4.Tohoku UniversityMiyagiJapan
  5. 5.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  6. 6.Kyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

Personalised recommendations