Dynamic wetting failure and hydrodynamic assist in curtain coating

Chen Yu Liu, Eric Vandre, Marcio S. Carvalho, Satish Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Dynamic wetting failure in curtain coating of Newtonian liquids is studied in this work. A hydrodynamic model accounting for air flow near the dynamic contact line (DCL) is developed to describe two-dimensional (2D) steady wetting and to predict the onset of wetting failure. A hybrid approach is used where air is described by a one-dimensional model and liquid by a 2D model, and the resulting hybrid formulation is solved with the Galerkin finite element method. The results reveal that the delay of wetting failure in curtain coating - often termed hydrodynamic assist - mainly arises from the hydrodynamic pressure generated by the inertia of the impinging curtain. This pressure leads to a strong capillary-stress gradient that pumps air away from the DCL and thus increases the critical substrate speed for wetting failure. Although the parameter values used in the model are different from those in experiments due to computational limitations, the model is able to capture the experimentally observed non-monotonic behaviour of the critical substrate speed as the feed flow rate increases (Blake et al., Phys. Fluids, vol. 11, 1999, p. 1995-2007). The influence of insoluble surfactants is also investigated, and the results show that Marangoni stresses tend to thin the air film and increase air-pressure gradients near the DCL, thereby promoting the onset of wetting failure. In addition, Marangoni stresses reduce the degree of hydrodynamic assist in curtain coating, suggesting a possible mechanism for experimental observations reported by Marston et al. (Exp. Fluids, vol. 46, 2009, pp. 549-558).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-315
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Dec 10 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Cambridge University Press.


  • coating
  • contact lines
  • interfacial flows (free surface)


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic wetting failure and hydrodynamic assist in curtain coating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this