The spray pattern immediately behind a single-groove tire rolling on a wet surface is produced in the laboratory using a specially designed tire spray simulator. The spray behavior is examined using high speed video. To characterize how rapidly water drains from the groove, a concept referred to as time-to-drain is defined and a technique developed and demonstrated for its measurement. ❧ The water-air interface in the groove of a rotating tire feels an acceleration from the denser fluid into the less dense fluid—the geometry of the Rayleigh-Taylor problem. Earlier work (Browand, Plocher & Radovich 2010) observed a banded structure downstream of the tire patch and suggested it was due to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. This present work examines that suggestion by computing spectra from time series at different points in the flow. Frequencies at spectral peaks are converted to wavenumbers which are found to lie in the Rayleigh-Taylor unstable band.
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