Simulating droplet motion on virtual leaf surfaces

Mayo, Lisa C., McCue, Scott W., Moroney, Timothy J., Forster, W. Alison, Kempthorne, Daryl M., Belward, John A., & Turner, Ian W. (2015) Simulating droplet motion on virtual leaf surfaces. Royal Society Open Science, 2(5), p. 140528.

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A curvilinear thin film model is used to simulate the motion of droplets on a virtual leaf surface, with a view to better understand the retention of agricultural sprays on plants. The governing model, adapted from Roy et al. (2002 J. Fluid Mech. 454, 235–261) with the addition of a disjoining pressure term, describes the gravity- and curvature driven flow of a small droplet on a complex substrate: a cotton leaf reconstructed from digitized scan data. Coalescence is the key mechanism behind spray coating of foliage, and our simulations demonstrate that various experimentally observed coalescence behaviours can be reproduced qualitatively. By varying the contact angle over the domain, we also demonstrate that the presence of a chemical defect can act as an obstacle to the droplet’s path, causing break-up. In simulations on the virtual leaf, it is found that the movement of a typical spray size droplet is driven almost exclusively by substrate curvature gradients. It is not until droplet mass is sufficiently increased via coalescence that gravity becomes the dominating force.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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42 since deposited on 14 Jun 2015
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ID Code: 84212
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: thin film flow, liquid drop, coalescence, curvilinear, alternating direction implicit methods
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140528
ISSN: 2054-5703
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (010207)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > NUMERICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS (010300) > Numerical Solution of Differential and Integral Equations (010302)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical & Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors
Copyright Statement: Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 14 Jun 2015 23:06
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 05:25

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