Thumbnail Image

Stability of gravity-driven liquid films overflowing microstructures with sharp corners

Bonart, Henning; Rajes, Sangitha; Jung, Johannes; Repke, Jens-Uwe

We report on the stability of thin liquid films overflowing single microstructures with sharp corners. The microstructures were of rectangular and triangular shape. Their heights and widths were 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 times the Nusselt film thickness. To observe steady, wavy, and very unstable films we performed simulations with Reynolds numbers ranging from 10 to 70. The dynamics of the liquid film and the overflowing gas phase were described by the coupling between the Cahn-Hilliard and the Navier-Stokes equations. The resulting model forms a very tightly coupled and nonlinear system of equations. Therefore we carefully selected the solution strategy to enable efficient and accurate large-scale simulations. Our results showed that the formation of waves was shifted to higher Reynolds numbers compared to the film on a smooth surface. If waves were finally formed, the microstructures led to irregular waves. Our results indicate a great influence of the microstructure's shape and dimension on the stability of the overflowing liquid film.
Published in: Physical Review Fluids, 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.5.094001, American Physical Society (APS)