Nonlinear theory of film rupture

Malcolm B. Williams*, Stephen H. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

409 Scopus citations


The present work aims at examining nonlinear effects on film rupture by investigating the stability of thin films to finite amplitude disturbances. The dynamics of the liquid film is formulated using the Navier-Stokes equations augmented by a body force describing the London/van der Waals attractions. The liquid film is assumed to be charge neutralized, nondraining, and laterally unbounded. A nonlinear evolution equation is derived for h(x, t), the film thickness. This strongly nonlinear partial differential equation is solved by numerical methods as part of an initial-value problem for periodic boundary conditions in x, the lateral space dimension. Given this model, one obtains true rupture in the sense that the film thickness becomes zero in a finite time. The results reveal rupture characteristics and effects of nonlinearities on the rupture properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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