Predicting the splash of a droplet impinging on solid substrates

Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 24;12(1):5093. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-08852-3.


The impingement behaviours of droplets towards solid substrates depend on the liquid properties, impingement velocity and solid surface conditions, such as wettability and roughness. However, the prediction regarding whether the droplet splashes after the impingement, is still an open question. Here we show that the splashing can be predicted by the pressure balance of the liquid film appearing beneath the impingement droplet coupled with the modified energy balance equation. Hydrodynamic and hydrostatic pressures are the driving forces for the droplet's radial spreading, while the capillary pressure at the rim edge and viscous stress oppose the driving forces. Thus, splashing occurs when the driving forces overcome the opposing forces. Moreover, the splashing condition is affected by various surface factors, such as wettability and surface roughness. Our work would pave the way to understand the basic physics for rim or liquid film fragmentation and enabling advances in important for engineering field such as printing, sprays for cooling and pesticide.