Role of Thin Liquid Films in Wetting


The kinetics of wetting a solid substrate by a thin liquid film has been reviewed here. Typically when a liquid drop spreads or retracts along a solid surface, a thin film region develops near the drop periphery. In the first part is discussed how the conventional forces in thin films are adapted to the case where the films are wedge-shaped, that is, contain a contact line - line common to the solid, the liquid, and the ambient fluid (air). In the second part the solutions to some hydrodynamic problems in wetting, especially the use of the lubrication theory approximation and the method of matched asymptotic expansions, are discussed. Particularly important features in the solution are the unbounded behavior of the stresses at the contact line and its remedy in the form of a slip boundary condition.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Drop Periphery; Hydrodynamics; Liquids; Lubrication - Theory; Slip Boundary Condtion; Solids - Surfaces; Thin Film Region; Wetting

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1986 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1986