Evaporation and Moving Contact Lines

Daniel M. Anderson

The Spreading of Volatile Liquid Droplets on Heated Surfaces

D.M. Anderson, George Mason University
S.H. Davis, Northwestern University

We consider a two-dimensional volatile liquid droplet on a uniformly heated horizontal surface. We use lubrication theory to describe the effects of capillarity, thermocapillarity, vapor recoil, viscous spreading, contact-angle hysteresis, and mass loss on the behavior of the droplet. We formulate and use a new contact-line condition based on mass balance, which represents a leading-order superposition of spreading and evaporative effects. We find evolution equations for steady and unsteady droplet profiles and solve for small and large capillary numbers. In the steady evaporation case, the steady contact angle, which represents a balance between viscous spreading effects and evaporative effects, is larger than the advancing contact angle. This new angle is also observed over much of the droplet lifetime during unsteady evaporation. Further, in the unsteady case, effects which tend to decrease (increase) the contact angle promote (delay) evaporation. In the large capillary number limit, we use matched asymptotics to describe the droplet profile; away from the contact line the shape is determined by initial conditions and bulk mass loss, while near the contact line surface curvature and slip are important.

An article on this work has been published in Phys. Fluids 7 (1995) 248-265. PDF version of this article.

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