Numerical simulation of droplet impact on wettability-patterned surfaces

Antonio Russo, Matteo Icardi, Mohamed Elsharkawy, Diego Ceglia, Pietro Asinari, Constantine M. Megaridis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Numerical simulations have unexplored potential in the study of droplet impact on nonuniform wettability surfaces. In this paper, we compare numerical and experimental results to investigate the application potential of a volume-of-fluid method utilized in OpenFOAM. The approach implements the Kistler model for the dynamic contact angle of impacting droplets. We begin with an investigation into the influence of the most important solver parameters to optimize the computational setup and reach the best compromise between computational cost and solution errors, as assessed in comparison to experimental results. Next, we verify the accuracy of the predictions for droplet impact on uniformly hydrophilic or superhydrophobic surfaces. Benchmarking the maximal spreading factor, contact, and spreading times, as well as contact-line behavior, we show strong agreement between the present numerical results and the models of Pasandideh-Fard, Phys. Fluids 8, 650 (1996)PHFLE61070-663110.1063/1.868850 and Clanét, J. Fluid Mech. 517, 199 (2004)JFLSA70022-112010.1017/S0022112004000904. Lastly, we demonstrate the capability of the model to accurately predict outcome behaviors of droplets striking distributed-wettability surfaces, which introduce 3D outcome characteristics, even in orthogonal impact. The model successfully predicts droplet splitting and vectoring, as reported in the experiments of Schutzius, Sci. Rep. 4, 7029 (2014)2045-232210.1038/srep07029. Finally, we demonstrate a configuration wherein a droplet centrally strikes a circular disk of different wettability than its surrounding domain. The main contribution of the present paper is a numerical model capable of accurately simulating droplet impact on spatially nonuniform wettability patterns of any foreseeable design.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 16 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-14
Acknowledgements: Computational resources were mainly provided by HPC@Polito, a project of academic computing within the Department of Control and Computer Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino ( M.I. and D.C. gratefully acknowledge the support of Raúl Tempone, the KAUST SRI-UQ center, and the KAUST HPC and Extreme Computing center. M.E. was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. 0907994.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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