On the role of liquid viscosity in affecting droplet spreading on a smooth solid surface

Mengxiao Qin, Chenglong Tang, Shangqing Tong, Peng Zhang, Zuohua Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The role of liquid viscosity on droplet spreading behavior upon impacting on a smooth stainless steel surface has been experimentally investigated. Results show the droplet spreading dynamics with increasing viscosity (characterized by the Ohnesorge number, Oh)exhibits complex dependence on the impact inertia (characterized by Weber number, We). Specifically, for a small impact inertia (We<30), the droplet oscillates in the vertical direction around the maximum height Ha. The non-dimensional maximum diameter βmax first increases and then decreases with increasing Oh, and this non-monotonic phenomenon has not been reported previously. For an intermediate impact inertia (60<We<240), the droplet has no oscillation after it spreads to βmax, and it has the form of a rim-bounded lamella. Although βmax shows a monotonic decrease with increasing Oh, some unsmooth disturbance around the rim occurs only at intermediate Oh. For a higher impact inertia (We>240), droplet splashing emerges and then vanishes with increasing Oh, although βmax still decreases monotonically. All the observed phenomena imply that liquid viscosity may have a dual role in affecting the droplet spreading, which previous models of βmax do not take into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Droplet impact
  • Maximum spreading diameter
  • Non-monotonic dependence
  • Viscosity effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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