Droplet impact on solid surfaces has been extensively reported in the literature, however the effect of accompanying air flow on the outcome of impacting droplet has yet to be addressed and analyzed which is similar to real scenario of impacting water droplet on aircraft’s leading edge at in-flight icing conditions. This study addresses the net effect of airflow (i.e. stagnation and the resultant shear flow) on the impacting water droplet with the same droplet impact velocity which is exposed to different airspeeds. In order to provide stagnation flow, a droplet accelerator was built which can generate different airspeeds up to 20 m/s. Droplet impact behavior accompanied with stagnation flow on a polished aluminum surface with a contact angle of 70° was investigated by high speed photography. 2.5 mm water droplet size with impact velocities of 2, 2.5 and 3 m/s which correspond to non-splashing regime of impacts are exposed to three different regimes of air speeds namely 0 (i.e. still air case), 10, and 20 m/s. It was observed that when droplet reaches to its maximum spreading diameter, some fingered shape at the end of spreading lamella (i.e. Rayleigh-Taylor instability) is appeared. When stagnation flow is present these fingered shape droplets are exposed to the generated shear flow close to the substrate (i.e. Homann flow approach) causes a droplet break up while complete non-splashing regime is observed in still air case. In spite of the fact that maximum spreading diameter is not largely affected by air flow compare to still air case, droplet height variation is significantly reduced by about 70 percent for strong stagnation flow (i.e. 20 m/s) which generates non-recoiling condition resulting in the thin film formation.

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