Diffuse-interface approach to rotating Hele-Shaw flows

Ching-Yao Chen*, Yu Sheng Huang, José A. Miranda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


When two fluids of different densities move in a rotating Hele-Shaw cell, the interface between them becomes centrifugally unstable and deforms. Depending on the viscosity contrast of the system, distinct types of complex patterns arise at the fluid-fluid boundary. Deformations can also induce the emergence of interfacial singularities and topological changes such as droplet pinch-off and self-intersection. We present numerical simulations based on a diffuse-interface model for this particular two-phase displacement that capture a variety of pattern-forming behaviors. This is implemented by employing a Boussinesq Hele-Shaw-Cahn-Hilliard approach, considering the whole range of possible values for the viscosity contrast, and by including inertial effects due to the Coriolis force. The role played by these two physical contributions on the development of interface singularities is illustrated and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046302
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2011


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