Dynamics and stability of thin liquid films and slender jets: workshop proposal

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Department of Chemical Engineering


The fluid dynamics of thin liquid films and slender jets are of central importance to numerous industrial, biomedical and daily-life applications and are accompanied by rich behaviour and pattern formation. As a result, they have received considerable attention in the literature; the last few years in particular have witnessed a great deal of activity in this area. This proposal is submitted to the EPSRC in order to request supporting funding to host a three-day meeting in the Mathematics Institute, Imperial College London (ICL), between 26-28 September 2007, which will examine the latest exciting developments in this field. This will provide the necessary forum for promoting interactions between researchers from different areas in Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics that would not have been possible otherwise and which will lead to inter-disciplinary collaborations. This meeting, which will be organised under the auspices of the European Mechanics Society (EUROMECH), will be a leading edge research workshop rather than a simple conference with interests divided among parallel sessions. We will have a single track of presentations interspersed with discussion and poster sessions that will likely spark off new research questions and collaborations among the participants.


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Description The EUROMECH 490 Workshop on "The Dynamics and Stability of Thin Liquid Films and Slender Jets" was held in the Department of Chemical Engineering between 19-21 September 2007. This Workshop was organised by Omar K. Matar (Imperial College London, Chairman), Richard V. Craster (Imperial College London, co-Chair), Andreas Munch (University of Nottingham , co-Chair) and Thomas P. Witelski (University of Oxford , co-Chair) and involved 66 participants (including some postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers) from a wide range of disciplines (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering). The Workshop featured 8 plenary lectures (50 minutes + 10 minutes for questions) and 32 regular talks (15 minutes + 5 minutes for questions). The talks and lectures covered a range of topics, which were divided into three days as follows:

_ Day One: "Dynamics of Driven Films";

_ Day Two: "Instabilities, Rupture and Breakup";

_ Day Three: "Applications and Frontiers".

A range of topics was examined over the three days, which included:

_ The effect of phase changes on thin film dynamics;

_ The effect of surface-active additives on thin film stability;

_ The effect of non-Newtonian rheology on the flow of thin films and the stability of jets and threads;

_ The dynamics of isothermal and heated falling films;

_ The formation of singularities during the rupture of thin films, the breakup of jets and threads and the motion of a contact line;

_ The effect of electric fields and substrate flexibility on thin film dewetting;

_ Flows of industrial, daily-life and biological relevance (e.g. heat transfer in micro-pipes, the motion of cells and the manufacturing of glass tubing).

The sessions were chaired by the Workshop organisers. Each day culminated in a lively discussion chaired by two of the organisers, which summarised the most important points raised during the Day and provided a look at the open problems in the field. This format worked very well and a number of open problems were identified as being important; these include:

_ Surfactant-assisted "super-spreading" of droplets on hydrophobic substrates;

_ The breakup of jets and threads in the presence of strongly non-Newtonian rheology (visco-elasticity in particular);

_ The motion of contact lines.
Exploitation Route This was an EPSRC-funded workshop which brought together the leading academics in thin film research worldwide. A number of topical subjects were discussed in great detail (e.g. contact line motion and associated singularity, the surfactant-driven superspreading problem, etc.). Ideas discussed at the meeting then grew and matured into papers that were published in the literature.
Sectors Chemicals,Education,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

Description The beneficiaries of this workshop are primarily workers in academia, particularly those that work in engineering, applied mathematics, physics and chemistry, who have benefited from the "discipline bridging" which this workshop provided. The interactions which this workshop fostered during its focussed discusssion sessions led to international, multi-disciplinary collaborations (e.g. joint papers between the groups of Matar and Craster at Imperial and Sefiane at Edinburgh, which is on-going, the work between the Kalliadasis group at Imperial and Uwe Thiele - was at Loughborough then moved to Germany - and the interactions at the workshop also fed into an EPSRC-funded Platform grant on moving contact lines [EP/E046029/1] with Matar as PI, Craster and Kalliadasis at Imperial as co-Is).
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Chemicals,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

Description EUROMECH 490 - Final report to EUROMECH 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Final report to the European Society of Mechanics.

The workshop we ran influenced a follow-up workshop in 2009 at Strathclyde, chaired by Professor S. K. Wilson.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007