Molten Wood’s metal drops falling through water fragment upon being overtaken by a shock wave, under conditions of simultaneous surface solidification. The study of this fragmentation is the subject of the present paper. If the solid crust thickness is sufficiently large by the time of the shock arrival, fine-scale fragmentation is prevented. A stability theory (Epstein, 1977) which includes the elastic crust stiffness in the pressure boundary conditions, and a nonlinear Taylor instability theory (Cooper and Dienes, 1977), are both surprisingly successful in predicting the threshold for fragmentation inhibition.

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