3-D Numerical Simulation of Contact Angle Hysteresis for Microscale Two-Phase Flow

Fang, C., Hidrovo, C., Wang, F.M., Eaton, J., and Goodson, K.E., 2008, "3-D Numerical Simulation of Contact Angle Hysteresis for Microscale Two-Phase Flow," International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Vol. 34, pp. 690-705.

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Understanding the physics of microscale two-phase flow is important for a broad variety of engineering applications including compact PEM fuel cells and heat exchangers. The low Bond number and confined geometry make it critical to consider both the surface tension at the liquid–gas interfaces and the surface forces acting at the channel boundaries. Within the framework of a numerical volume of fluid (VOF) approach, the present work proposes a model to account for surface adhesion forces by considering the effects of contact angle hysteresis. A transient model is developed by correcting boundary force balances through specification of the local contact angle and instantaneously updating the local angle values based on the variation of the volume fraction from previous time steps. The model compares very well with new data provided here for droplets on a rotating disk and liquid slug flow in microchannel. The simulation reveals that the contact angle distribution along the slug profile in the microchannel flow can be approximated using a piecewise linear function. This study indicates that the asymmetric distribution of the contact angle might be responsible for several phenomena observed in the microchannel experiments, including slug instability.

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