The accurate computation of thin film flows and the motion of droplets on real functional surfaces.

Lead Research Organisation: STFC - Laboratories
Department Name: Scientific Computing Department


Fluid flow over real (man-made and naturally occurring) functional surfaces containing micro-scale topographic and/or chemical heterogeneities are ubiquitous throughout nature, engineering and the precision manufacturing industries. During this pump-priming project, the investigators' world leading software algorithms for analysing such problems will be modified to exploit massively parallel High Performance Computing (HPC) architectures and resources. This will facilitate the computation of flows over realistic surfaces to be carried out for the first time, enabling the fundamental limits of predictive capabilities, such as those on the time-scales of droplet spreading and coalescence, to be investigated and quantified.The physical insight gained into this important class of flow problems will be of generic benefit both to academic researchers, working in the fields of coating process fundamentals and droplet motion, to engineers and scientists working in diverse fields such as in the production of micro-electronic components and microfluidic devices for medical diagnostics, and to those interested in developing more sustainable alternatives to chemical pesticides.


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Lee Y (2009) Thin film flow over flexible membranes containing surface texturing: Bio-inspired solutions in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology