Spreading behavior of an impacting drop on a structured rough surface

D. Sivakumar, K. Katagiri, T. Sato, H. Nishiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The spreading of water drops impinging on structured rough surfaces is studied experimentally. The rough surfaces are specially prepared with a regular pattern of surface asperities. The arrangement of the square-shaped surface asperities creates channel-like grooves on the surface. A video microscope along with a controlled light exposure system is used to construct the image sequences of the spreading process. The images are digitally analyzed to measure the temporal variation of the spreading drop diameter 2R. Results are obtained for three rough surfaces with varying asperity heights in the range of 100-500 μm and for different impact drop conditions with Weber number We in the range of 35-225. The results on the temporal variation of 2R show that, on the structured rough surfaces, the spreading occurs simultaneously both inside and above the texture pattern of the surfaces. For a given surface geometry, the volume of liquid flowing inside the grooves of the surface increases with increasing We. Consequently, the values of 2R measured inside the texture pattern are larger than those measured above the texture pattern, and their difference increases with increasing We. The arrangement of the surface asperities influences the spreading pattern of an impacting drop spreading axisymmetrically. For the texture geometry used in the present study, the spreading pattern resembles a regular rhombus shape for the impact of low We drops and becomes complex at high We. The spreading distances, measured both inside and above the texture pattern of the structured rough surfaces, are nearer to the measurements recorded on the smooth surface if the asperity height of the rough surface is smaller than the thickness of the spreading liquid lamella; however, the surface asperities influence the spreading pattern drastically and create a liquid splash.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100608
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Drops
  • Flow visualisation
  • Pattern formation
  • Surface roughness
  • Two-phase flow
  • Wetting


Dive into the research topics of 'Spreading behavior of an impacting drop on a structured rough surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this