The present study seeks to understand and predict droplet retention on smooth hydrophobic surfaces. The droplet shape and the advancing and receding contact angles are experimentally measured as a function of droplet size under the action of a gravitational force at different inclination angles. The advancing and receding contact angles are correlated with static contact angle and Bond number. A Volume of Fluid – Continuous Surface Force model with varying contact angles along the triple contact line is developed to predict droplet shape. The model is first verified against a two dimensional analytical solution. It is then used to simulate the shape of a sessile droplet on an incline at various angles of inclination and to deter- mine the critical angle of inclination as a function of droplet size. Good agreement is found between exper- imental measurements and predictions. The contact line profile and contact area are also predicted. The contact area predictions based on a spherical-cap assumption are compared to the numerical predictions and are found to underpredict the droplet contact area.


Contact angle hysteresis, Volume of fluid, Drop shape, Drop profile, Contact line, Critical size

Date of this Version




Published in:

S. R. Annapragada, J. Y. Murthy and S. V. Garimella, “Droplet Retention on an Incline,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 55, pp. 1457-1465, 2011.