Solitary waves on inclined films: their characteristics and the effects on wall shear stress
The properties of solitary waves, developing from inlet disturbances of controlled frequency along an inclined film flow, are systematically studied experimentally and computationally. Time-variations of film height and wall shear stress are measured, using respectively a capacitance probe and an electrodiffusion sensor. Computational data are provided from simulations performed by a Galerkin finite element scheme. The height and spacing of solitary humps, their phase velocity and the wavelength of the preceding capillary ripples are reported as functions of the Reynolds number (10 < Re < 100) and the inlet frequency (0.5 Hz < f < 2.5 Hz). The wall shear stress modulation imposed by the passage of solitary waves is studied experimentally and computationally as a function of Re. Distinct nonlinear characteristics are noted, including a steep maximum and a negative minimum, with the effects intensifying at intermediate Re. All computer predictions are found to be in good quantitative agreement with the experimental data.