Influence of droplet geometry on the coalescence of low viscosity

A.C.A. Eddi, K.G. Winkels, J.H. Snoeijer

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The coalescence of water drops on a substrate is studied experimentally. We focus on the rapid growth of the bridge connecting the two drops, which very quickly after contact ensues from a balance of surface tension and liquid inertia. For drops with contact angles below 90°, we find that the bridge grows with a self-similar dynamics that is characterized by a height h∼t 2/3 . By contrast, the geometry of coalescence changes dramatically for contact angles at 90°, for which we observe h∼t 1/2 , just as for freely suspended spherical drops in the inertial regime. We present a geometric model that quantitatively captures the transition from 2/3 to 1/2 exponent, and unifies the inertial coalescence of sessile drops and freely suspended drops
Original languageEnglish
Article number144502
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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