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The possible equilibrium shapes of static pendant drops
Published in
2010
Volume: 133
   
Issue: 14
Abstract
Analytical and numerical studies are carried out on the shapes of two-dimensional and axisymmetric pendant drops hanging under gravity from a solid surface. Drop shapes with both pinned and equilibrium contact angles are obtained naturally from a single boundary condition in the analytical energy optimization procedure. The numerical procedure also yields optimum energy shapes, satisfying Young's equation without the explicit imposition of a boundary condition at the plate. It is shown analytically that a static pendant two-dimensional drop can never be longer than 3.42 times the capillary length. A related finding is that a range of existing solutions for long two-dimensional drops correspond to unphysical drop shapes. Therefore, two-dimensional drops of small volume display only one static solution. In contrast, it is known that axisymmetric drops can display multiple solutions for a given volume. We demonstrate numerically that there is no limit to the height of multiple-lobed Kelvin drops, but the total volume is finite, with the volume of successive lobes forming a convergent series. The stability of such drops is in question, though. Drops of small volume can attain large heights. A bifurcation is found within the one-parameter space of Laplacian shapes, with a range of longer drops displaying a minimum in energy in the investigated space. Axisymmetric Kelvin drops exhibit an infinite number of bifurcations. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
ISSN00219606
Open AccessNo