Macroscopic Wetting Behavior and a Method for Measuring Contact Angles

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Katoh, H. Fujita

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464, Japan

H. Sasaki

Toshiba Corp., Fuchu 183, Japan

J. Fluids Eng 112(3), 289-295 (Sep 01, 1990) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2909403 History: Received April 04, 1989; Online May 23, 2008


Macroscopic wetting behavior is investigated theoretically from a thermodynamic viewpoint. The axisymmetric liquid meniscus formed under a conical solid surface is chosen as the subject of the theoretical analysis. Using the meniscus configuration obtained by the Laplace equation, the total free energy of the system is calculated. In the case of the half vertical angle of the cone φ = 90 deg (horizontal plate), the system shows thermodynamic instability when the meniscus attaches to the solid surface at the contact angle. This result, unlike the conventional view, agrees well with the practical wetting behavior observed in this study. On the other hand, when 0 deg < φ < 90 deg, the system shows thermodynamic stability at the contact angle. However, when the solid cone is held at a position higher than the critical height from a stationary liquid surface, the system becomes unstable. It is possible to measure the contact angle easily using this unstable phenomenon.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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