Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

Developing Laminar Gravity-Driven Thin Liquid Film Flow Down an Inclined Plane

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Lan, J. L. Wegener, B. F. Armaly, J. A. Drallmeier

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65401

J. Fluids Eng 132(8), 081301 (Aug 02, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002109 History: Received July 10, 2009; Revised June 18, 2010; Published August 02, 2010; Online August 02, 2010

Three-dimensional (3D)—steady-developing-laminar-isothermal—and gravity-driven thin liquid film flow adjacent to an inclined plane is examined and the effects of film flow rate, surface tension, and surface inclination angle on the film thickness and film width are presented. The film flow was numerically simulated using the volume of fluid model and experimental verification was conducted by measuring film thickness and width using a laser focus displacement instrument. The steady film flow that is considered in this study does not have a leading contact line, however, it has two steady side contact lines with the substrate surface at the outer edge of its width. Results reveal that the film width decreases and the average film thickness increases as the film flows down the inclined plane. The film thickness and width decrease but its streamwise velocity increases as surface inclination angle (as measured from the horizontal plane) increases. A higher film flow rate is associated with a higher film thickness, a higher film width, and a higher average film velocity. Films with higher surface tension are associated with a smaller width and a higher average thickness. A ripple develops near the side contact line, i.e., the spanwise distribution of the film thickness exhibits peaks at the outer edges of the film width and the height of this ripple increases as the surface tension or the film flow rate increases. The width of the film decreases at a faster rate along the streamwise direction if liquid film has higher surface tension. Measurements of the film thickness and the film width compare favorably with the numerically simulated results.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the computational domain

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Figure 2

Experimental facilities

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Figure 3

(a) Schematic of an LFD instrument and (b) influence of film surface orientation on measurements

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Figure 4

General flow features in the developing flow regime

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Figure 5

Effects of surface tension and contact angle on film thickness and width

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Figure 6

Effects of film flow rate on film development (a) σ=0.042 N/m and (b) σ=0.026 N/m

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Figure 7

Effects of film flow rate and surface tension on film thickness and width

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Figure 8

Streamwise distribution of (a) film thickness at the center plane and (b) surface film velocity at the center plane

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Figure 9

Simulated results at (a) z=50 mm and x=138.1 mm and 2D analytical results for film thickness; (b) z=50 mm and x=138.1 mm and 2D analytical results for film velocity distribution

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Figure 10

Effects of inclination angle on film thickness and width

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Figure 11

Visualized and computed film flow domain (a) σ=0.042 N/m and (b) σ=0.026 N/m

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Figure 12

Comparison between measured and simulated film width (a) σ=0.042 N/m and (b) σ=0.026 N/m

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Figure 13

Comparison between measured and simulated film thickness (a) ϕ=60 deg and (b) ϕ=30 deg and ϕ=90 deg




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