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Stability of an evaporating thin liquid film

  • OLEG E. SHKLYAEV (a1) and ELIOT FRIED (a1)

We use a newly developed set of interface conditions to revisit the problem of an evaporating thin liquid film. In particular, instead of the conventional Hertz–Knudsen–Langmuir equation for the evaporation mass flux, we impose a more general equation expressing the balance of configurational momentum. This balance, which supplements the conventional conditions enforcing the balances of mass, momentum and energy on the film surface, arises from a consideration of configurational forces within a thermodynamical framework. We study the influence of two newly introduced terms on the evolution of the liquid film. One of these terms accounts for the transport of energy within the liquid–vapour interface. The other term, which we refer to as the effective pressure, accounts for vapour recoil. Both new terms are found to be stabilizing. Furthermore, the effective pressure is found to affect a time-dependent base state of the evaporating film and to be an important factor in applications involving liquid films with thicknesses of one or two monolayers. Specifically, we demonstrate that consideration of the effective pressure makes it possible to observe the influence of the van der Waals interactions on film evolution close to the instant of rupture. Dimensional considerations indicate that one of the most significant influences of these effects occurs for molten metals.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
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