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Contact Line Motion and Dynamic Wetting of Nano-fluid Solutions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


The effect that nanoparticles play in the spreading of nanofluids dynamically wetting and dewetting solid substrates is investigated experimentally, using ‘drop shape’ analysis technique to analyse aluminium–ethanol contact lines advancing and receding over hydrophobic Teflon-AF coated substrates. Results obtained from the advancing/receding contact line analysis show that the nanoparticles in the vicinity of the three-phase contact line enhance the dynamic wetting behaviour of aluminium–ethanol nanofluids for concentrations up to approximately 1% concentration by weight. Two mechanisms were identified as a potential reason for the observed enhancement in spreading of nanofluids: structural disjoining pressure and friction reduction due to nanoparticle adsorption on the solid surface.

The observed ‘lubricating effect’ that the nanoparticles seem to be inducing is similar to the ‘superspreading’ effect for surfactant solutions spreading on hydrophobic surfaces, up to a concentration (weight) of approximately 1%, could be a result of the predicted enhanced wetting behaviour. Indeed, Trokhymchuk et al. [Langmuir, 2001, 17, 4940] observed a solid-like ordering of nanoparticles in the vicinity of the three-phase contact line, leading to an increased pressure in the fluid ‘wedge’. This increased pressure leads to a pressure gradient which causes the nanofluids to exhibit enhanced wetting characteristics.

Another possible cause for the observed increase in advancing/receding contact line velocity could be deposition of nanoparticles on the solid surface in the vicinity of the three-phase contact line resulting in the nanofluid effectively advancing over aluminium rather than Teflon-AF, or the contact line ‘rolling’ over nanoparticles at the three-phase contact line due to sphericity of nanoparticles. For either of these to be the case, the nanoparticle effect at the three-phase contact line would have to be enhanced for the lower concentration in the same way that it would have to be for the increased pressure in the fluid ‘wedge’.

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