Thermocapillary Convection

  • H. C. Kuhlmann
Conference paper
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 391)


The fluid motion induced by surface tension gradients due to temperature variations along liquid/gas interfaces is reviewed. Attention is focussed on the thermocapillary driven flow inside the liquid rather than on free surface deformations. The general equations for an incompressible Newtonian liquid surrounded by a passive gas are introduced followed by some basic considerations of the thermocapillary flow near the contact point. The Stokes flow in differentially heated cylindrical liquid bridges is calculated revealing the fundamental flow structures when the thermocapillary surface stresses are low. As general characteristics of thermocapillary flows the boundary layer scalings for certain limits of the Marangoni and Prandtl numbers are derived. After a brief review of hydrothermal waves in plane layers two paradigms for thermocapillary driven convection, heated cylindrical liquid bridges and rectangular cavities, are considered in more detail. Flow structures, instabilities, dynamics, and side wall effects are analyzed.


Free Surface Prandtl Number Liquid Bridge Critical Reynolds Number Marangoni Number 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Kuhlmann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BremenBremenGermany

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