Prediction of droplet dynamics on an incline

S. Ravi Annapragada, United Technol Res Ctr
Jayathi Y. Murthy, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Suresh V. Garimella, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer Volume 55, Issues 5–6, February 2012, Pages 1466–1474


Droplet motion is important in discrete microfluidic operations as well as in emerging site-specific cooling techniques based on electrowetting. The present work reports on carefully characterized experiments that map the shape, advancing and receding contact angles, and contact area of droplets sliding under gravitational actuation as a function of droplet size and velocity. A pseudo-Lagrangian methodology based on the Volume Of Fluid - Continuous Surface Force (VOF-CSF) model is developed to simulate droplet motion down an incline. The model is benchmarked against 2D stationary reference-frame simulations. The terminal velocity of droplets on an incline is predicted and is in good agreement with in-house experimental measurements. The effect of using different contact angle models on the terminal velocity predictions is investigated. The numerical solution is highly sensitive to the contact angle boundary condition. The internal fluid motion in moving droplets is also explained. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology