Dynamic wetting on soft solids (DyWeSS)
About the project
In rainy days, water droplets are seen sliding on solid surfaces such as those of windows and leaves. One may wonder what factors determine the droplet shapes and how fast they move. To answer these questions, we need to understand the physics that governs the flow of liquid in the droplet, as well as the interactions between the fluid flow and the solid. The material properties of solid indeed play an important role. Some solids are hard to deform, which are often named as rigid solids. Materials like gels, rubbers and biological tissues are soft solids, which respond with significant deformation under stresses. The property of softness has been found in recent studies to be a key factor for the motion of droplets on soft solids, which are very different from that on rigid solids. In fact, the dynamic wetting of a liquid, displacing another immiscible liquid or air, on soft solids is a commonality to many biological, medical and industrial processes. However, our understanding of it is far less than what we know for rigid solids. In this project, we aim to fill this gap in knowledge by developing a ground-breaking model to investigate problems of dynamic soft wetting. The success of our project will provide fundamental knowledge for important applications such as droplet control in channels and fluid coating on soft material. Through our research, we hope to be able to control the time of the filling process and the thickness of the coated film, by varying the softness of solids. Understanding the influence of softness on wetting dynamics will provide us new knowledge for designing fluidic devices that can achieve certain specific functions, as well as manufacturing soft industrial products for eg medical applications.
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Research council of Norway, Independent projects - project number 315110. Total budget approximately 12 mill NOK.
Tak Shing Chan