Wetting dynamics of a collapsing fluid hole

Bostwick, J.B.; Dijksman, J.A.; Shearer, M.


The collapse dynamics of an axisymmetric fluid cavity that wets the bottom of a rotating bucket bound by vertical sidewalls are studied. Lubrication theory is applied to the governing field equations for the thin film to yield an evolution equation that captures the effect of capillary, gravitational, and centrifugal forces on this converging flow. The focus is on the quasistatic spreading regime, whereby contact-line motion is governed by a constitutive law relating the contact-angle to the contact-line speed. Surface tension forces dominate the collapse dynamics for small holes with the collapse time appearing as a power law whose exponent compares favorably to experiments in the literature. Gravity accelerates the collapse process. Volume dependence is predicted and compared with experiment. Centrifugal forces slow the collapse process and lead to complex dynamics characterized by stalled spreading behavior that separates the large and small hole asymptotic regimes.