Experimental study of rivulet formation on an inclined plate by fluorescent imaging

M. F.G. Johnson*, R. A. Schluter, M. J. Miksis, S. G. Bankoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The instability of a two-dimensional moving contact line is studied for a thin liquid film flowing down an inclined plane, leading to the formation of rivulets. A fluorescent imaging method was developed to facilitate accurate measurement of the spacing between rivulets, tip velocity, three-dimensional shape and dynamic contact line. A fluid circulation system produced steady films at constant volumetric flux, in contrast to time-varying films at constant total volume, as in previous measurements. Comparisons are made with the existing data for constant-volume films, and with theoretical predictions for the wavelength of the rivulets formed at constant inlet flow rate. Data were also obtained for rivulet shapes, tip speeds and contact angles as functions of the angle of inclination of the plate and liquid Reynolds number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Sep 10 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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