Drop impact and wettability: From hydrophilic to superhydrophobic surfaces

Carlo Antonini, Alidad Amirfazli, Marco Marengo

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    Experiments to understand the effect of surface wettability on impact characteristics of water drops onto solid dry surfaces were conducted. Various surfaces were used to cover a wide range of contact angles (advancing contact angle from 48° to 166°, and contact angle hysteresis from 5° to 56°). Several different impact conditions were analyzed (12 impact velocities on 9 different surfaces, among which 2 were superhydrophobic). Results from impact tests with millimetric drops show that two different regimes can be identified: a moderate Weber number regime (30 < We < 200), in which wettability affects both drop maximum spreading and spreading characteristic time; and a high Weber number regime (We > 200), in which wettability effect is secondary, because capillary forces are overcome by inertial effects. In particular, results show the role of advancing contact angle and contact angle hysteresis as fundamental wetting parameters to allow understanding of different phases of drop spreading and beginning of recoiling. It is also shown that drop spreading on hydrophilic and superhydrophobic surfaces occurs with different time scales. Finally, if the surface is superhydrophobic, eventual impalement, i.e., transition from Cassie to Wenzel wetting state, which might occur in the vicinity of the drop impact area, does not influence drop maximum spreading.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102104
    JournalPhysics of Fluids
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2012


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