John Belanger

Doctoral Candidate

Salem, Michigan

M.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2013
B.S. Chemical Engineering, U.S. Military Academy, 2005.

Research Focus

Effects of Interfacial Rheology on Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in polymer solutions

The Rayleigh-Taylor instability results when a fluid layer is denser than the fluid beneath it in a gravitational field. This can occur in a single-phase polymeric solution as water evaporates at the air-liquid interface, creating a top layer denser than the bulk solution below. Plumes of this top layer dropping into the bulk fluid can leave behind permanent structural artifacts, such as dimples in a painted surface or alternating strong and weak points in thin film material. My research focuses on how the concentration of a polymeric solution and its visco-elastic properties can be tuned to either promote or inhibit the onset of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability.