Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 July 2020
In the phase-field description of moving contact line problems, the two-phase system can be described by free energies, and the constitutive relations can be derived based on the assumption of energy dissipation. In this work we propose a novel boundary condition for contact angle hysteresis by exploring wall energy relaxation, which allows the system to be in non-equilibrium at the contact line. Our method captures pinning, advancing and receding automatically without the explicit knowledge of contact line velocity and contact angle. The microscopic dynamic contact angle is computed as part of the solution instead of being imposed. Furthermore, the formulation satisfies a dissipative energy law, where the dissipation terms all have their physical origin. Based on the energy law, we develop an implicit finite element method that is second order in time. The numerical scheme is proven to be unconditionally energy stable for matched density and zero contact angle hysteresis, and is numerically verified to be energy dissipative for a broader range of parameters. We benchmark our method by computing pinned drops and moving interfaces in the plane Poiseuille flow. When the contact line moves, its dynamics agrees with the Cox theory. In the test case of oscillating drops, the contact line transitions smoothly between pinning, advancing and receding. Our method can be directly applied to three-dimensional problems as demonstrated by the test case of sliding drops on an inclined wall.
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