Wed March 19th 2014
16:00
ZH286
Seminar Singular Capillary Microflows: Modelling, Computation & Scaling
James Sprittles

Details:

Understanding the interaction of liquids with solids (wetting) and other liquid bodies (coalescence) holds the key to optimizing a whole host of technological processes, including a number of emerging microfluidic devices such as 3D-printers. Accurate experimental observation of these phenomena is complex due to the small spatio-temporal scales or interest and, consequently, mathematical modelling and computational simulation become key tools with which to probe such flows.
Dynamic wetting and coalescence are both so-called `singular' capillary flows, in which classical modelling approaches lead to paradoxical conclusions. In this talk, I will describe the mathematical models proposed for this class of flows and the techniques which have been used to obtain both approximate and exact computational solutions. By comparing the predictions of these theories to experiments, it will become clear why there is still an intensive debate in this field and how progress can now be made. As a by-product, we are able to assess the accuracy of approximate `scaling laws' proposed in the literature and will identify a number of previous mis-conceptions.
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