The splash of a solid sphere impacting on a liquid surface: Numerical simulation of the influence of wetting

Authors: Do-Quang, M., Amberg, G.A.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Physics of Fluids
Volume: 21   022102
Year: 2009


The impact of a solid sphere on a liquid surface has challenged researchers for centuries and remains of interest today. Recently, Duez et al. [C. Duez, C. Ybert, C. Clanet, and L. Bocquet, Nature Physics, 3:180-183, (2007)] published experimental results of the splash generated when a solid sphere enters water. Interestingly, the microscopic properties of the solid surface control the nature of the macroscopic behavior of the splash. So by a change in the surface chemistry of the solid sphere, a big splash can be turned into an inconspicuous disappearance and vice versa. This problem was investigated by numerical simulations based on the Navier-Stokes equations coupled with the Cahn-Hilliard equations. This system allows us to simulate the motion of an air-water interface as a solid sphere impacts the liquid pond. The inclusion of the surface energies of the solid surface in the formulation gives a reasonably quantitative description of the dynamic wetting. Numerical results with different wetting properties and impact speed are presented and directly compared with the recent experimental results from Duez et al.