Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Tadd T. Truscott


Tadd T. Truscott


Barton L. Smith


Som Dutta


Water is familiar to all human beings and water droplets are an integral part of our daily lives. From irrigation sprinklers to waterfalls we can observe the formation of water droplets. For most, the droplets are so common and mundane that no thought is given to how the droplets form. Scientists have spent many decades detailing the processes that lead to droplet formation. Current theories and experiments agree quite well for specific cases such as pendant drop formation and jet breakup, but in regards to large volumes of free falling liquid there is very little experimental work to confirm the theory. This is due to the difficulty of suspending large volumes of liquid in a repeatable way. This paper details a new method for suspending large volumes of liquid in a repeatable and predictable way. The paper also describes the initial shapes and behavior the liquid volumes may inherit from the release method. The new method uses a simple pendulum and hydrophobic surfaces to suspend large droplets. The hydrophobic surfaces vary from flat solid surfaces to spherical mesh surfaces. High speed cameras record the droplets which provides the shape and behavior data. The shapes of the droplets are described as ”modes”. More than one mode can exist in the droplet at a given time. The amplitude of a mode describes the size of the mode. The larger the amplitude the more a mode dominates the overall shape of the droplet. Ideally, the droplet mechanism in this paper would create spherical droplets or droplets with zero-amplitude modes. A mesh hydrophobic surface produces the most spherical droplets (i.e., smallest amplitude) for large volumes. The droplets in this paper range from diameters of 4.0-15.8 mm (0.034-2.08 mL).