Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : A series of experiments has been performed under earth’s gravity to study formation of particle accumulation structures (PAS) in a supercritical flow driven by the combined effects of buoyancy and thermocapillary forces. The test flow was created in a non-isothermal cylindrical column (liquid bridge) made of n-decane and heated from above. The objective of the experiment was to answer two major questions: (1) how strong is the influence of the shape of the interface on the process of formation of PAS; (2) what temperature of the ambient air fits better for PAS to occur. Considering these questions, we developed a method based on changing both the volume of the liquid bridge and temperature at the external walls of the experimental chamber to set and to keep constant the shape of the interface and the temperature inside the setup, respectively. The experimental observations are presented in the form of diagrams in the parameters’ space showing ranges of the PAS formation. The findings show that a liquid bridge with an interface as close to the straight cylindrical as possible and surrounded by air at low temperature is the best terrain for PAS formation. The results of the chaos analysis of the recorded temperature time series and their correlation with the obtained diagrams allow for showing that accumulation of particles in coherent structures is possible only in a periodic oscillatory flow characterized by a small value of the translation error not exceeding 0.01. It is demonstrated that presence of either any spectral noise or of several modes with incommensurate frequencies makes formation of a PAS impossible.