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Numerical simulation of droplet dynamics on chemically heterogeneous surfaces by lattice Boltzmann method

Xin Wang (School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China)
Bo Xu (School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China)
Z. Chen (School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, China)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate spontaneous movement of single droplet on chemically heterogeneous surfaces induced by the net surface tension, using the improved three-dimensional (3D) lattice Boltzmann (LB) method.

Design/methodology/approach

D3Q19 Shan-Chen LB model is improved in this paper. Segmented particle distribution functions coupled with the P-R equation of state are introduced to maintain the higher accuracy and greater stability. In addition, exact difference method (EDM) is adopted to implement force term to predict the droplet deformation and dynamics.

Findings

The numerical results demonstrate that spontaneous movement of single droplet (=1.8 µm) along wedge-shaped tracks is driven by net surface tension. Advancing angle decreases instantaneously with time, while receding angle changes slightly first and then decreases rapidly. Wetting length is affected by vertex angle and wetting difference, whereas the final value is only dependent on the stronger wettability. Although the velocity of single droplet on wedge-shaped tracks can be increased by the larger vertex angle, it has a negative influence on the displacement. For the same wetting difference, vertex angle equal to 30º is an optimization strategy in this model. If the simulation length is extended enough, then the smaller vertex angle is beneficial for the droplet movement. In addition, a larger wetting difference is beneficial to spontaneous movement, which can speed up the droplet movement.

Originality/value

The proposed numerical model of droplet dynamics on chemically heterogeneous surfaces provides fundamental insights for the enhancement of drop-wise condensation heat transfer.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by ESA-CMSA International Cooperation of Space Experiment Project (Study on Condensation and Enhancement Methods under Microgravity).

Citation

Wang, X., Xu, B. and Chen, Z. (2019), "Numerical simulation of droplet dynamics on chemically heterogeneous surfaces by lattice Boltzmann method", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 607-624. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-03-2019-0259

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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