Fiber coating dynamics: theory, algorithm, and applications

 Speaker: Hangjie Ji (North Carolina State University)

Thin liquid films flowing down vertical fibers spontaneously exhibit complex interfacial dynamics, creating irregular wavy patterns and traveling liquid droplets. Such fiber coating dynamics is a fundamental component in many engineering applications, including mass and heat exchangers for thermal desalination and water vapor and particle capture. Through experiments and mathematical modelling, we demonstrate that flow regime transitions can be triggered by varying inlet geometries. Theoretical predictions, based on a full lubrication model and a weighted residual integral boundary-layer model, explain the experimentally observed velocity and stability of traveling droplets and their transition to isolated droplets. By coupling with the Marangoni effects, a similar regime transition can also be triggered by imposing a temperature field along the fiber. Using regularization techniques and a priori estimates for energy-entropy functionals, we prove the existence of non-negative weak solutions for a fiber coating PDE model and analytically study the traveling wave solutions. We will conclude by presenting our recent results on developing positivity-preserving numerical methods and optimal control for fiber coating dynamics.

Time: April 7, 2023 2:30pm-3:30pm
Location: LeConte 440
Host: Siming He and Changhui Tan