Thin films flowing down inverted substrates: Three-dimensional flow

T. S. Lin, L. Kondic, A. Filippov

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49 Scopus citations


We study contact line induced instabilities for a thin film of fluid under destabilizing gravitational force in three-dimensional setting. In the previous work [T.-S. Lin and L. Kondic, Phys. Fluids22, 052105 (2010)], we considered two-dimensional flow, finding formation of surface waves whose properties within the implemented long-wave model depend on a single parameter,D = (3Ca)1/3 cot α, where Ca is the capillary number and α is the inclination angle. In the present work we consider fully 3D setting and discuss the influence of the additional dimension on stability properties of the flow. In particular, we concentrate on the coupling between the surface instabilities and the transverse (fingering) instabilities of the film front. We furthermore consider these instabilities in the setting where fluid viscosity varies in the transverse direction. It is found that the flow pattern strongly depends on the inclination angle and the viscosity gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022105
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 3 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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