Droplet Spreading and Adhesion on Spherical Surfaces

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Adhesion of a liquid droplet to a solid surface is a result of solid surface interactions with surrounding fluids, affected by its wettability and morphology. Unfortunately, the direct measurements of adhesion forces are rarely reported in the scientific literature, especially for solids with curvatures. In this study, by using a high-sensitivity microelectronic mechanical balance which vertically deposits and then pulls liquid droplets, the spreading and adhesion forces for water and ethylene glycol droplets on spherical surfaces of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with radii of curvature from 2 to 8 mm were recorded. Results show that the surface curvature does not affect the advancing and most-stable contact angles but affects the extent of spreading and maximum adhesion forces. The solid surface curvature affects both surface tension and Laplace pressure forces at the spreading point, whereas it mainly affects the Laplace pressure force at the maximum adhesion point.

Publication Title

Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids