The effect of superhydrophobicity on liquid water impingement on a flat horizontal surface was explored. The surfaces combined a hydrophobic surface chemistry with a patterned microstucture in order to produce high contact angles with water. Three sets of experiments were performed, one for jet impingement and two for droplet impingement, which advance previous work in characterizing the interaction of water and superhydrophobic surfaces.Jet impingement experiments were performed to characterize a transitional regime between an unsubmerged and a completely submerged superhydrophobic surface by varying an imposed downstream depth. For low downstream depths, the surface remained unsubmerged and displayed only break up of the thin film, while at high downstream depths, the surface was completely submerged and only a hydraulic jump occurred. Within the transition, the surface was partially submerged and both thin film breakup and a hydraulic jump were observed. Experiments were performed for three Reynolds numbers, Re, ranging from 1.9 x 104 to 2.2 x 104 (based on the volume flow rate). For all Re, the transition was characterized by a reduction in the hydraulic jump radius as downstream depth increased. Also, as Re increased, the downstream depths over which the transition occurred was greater. When a droplet impinges on a surface covered with a liquid film, a thin liquid wall, or crown, forms and propagates outward. Here a comparison of this crown dynamic was made for smooth hydrophilic surfaces and superhydrophobic (SH) surfaces patterned with post or rib microfeatures. Due to the high contact angle of the SH surfaces, a relatively thick film (h ≈ 5 mm) of water was required to maintain a film. This resulted in negligible differences between the surfaces utilized. Droplet train impingement on the same post and rib SH surfaces was also investigated. When each individual droplet impinged on the surface, a crown formed which spread out radially until reaching a semi-stable or regularly oscillating breakup diameter. At this point, the water would either build up or breakup into droplets or filaments and then continue radially outward. In some cases the crown would break up, causing splashing. A comparison to previous experiments on hydrophilic surfaces shows a distinct difference in splashing at low frequency. The breakup diameter was measured over a Weber number range of 72-2800. The data was collapsed as a function of a combination of the Reynolds number (Re), Capillary number (Ca), and Strouhal number (St), resulting in Re0.7CaSt. The rib SH surface displayed an elongated breakup due to the anisotropic surface features. The breakup diameter for the droplet train was compared to the breakup diameter which has been shown to occur with a jet impinging on a SH surface.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





superhydrophobic surfaces, jet impingement, droplet impingement, droplet train