- by Alessio Meggiolaro
Sliding and rolling of yield stress fluid droplets on highly slippery lubricated surfaces
M. Carneri, D. Ferraro, A. Azarpour, A. Meggiolaro, S. Cremaschini, D. Filippi, M. Pierno, G. Zanchetta, G. Mistura
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2023)
Hypothesis: Droplets of yield stress fluids (YSFs), i.e. fluids that can flow only if they are subjected to a stress above a critical value and otherwise deform like solids, hardly move on solid surfaces due to their high viscosity. The use of highly slippery lubricated surfaces can shed light on the mobility of YSF droplets, which include everyday soft materials, such as toothpaste or mayonnaise, and biological fluids, such as mucus.
Experiments: The spreading and mobility of droplets of aqueous solutions of swollen Carbopol microgels were studied on lubricant infused surfaces. These solutions represent a model system of YSFs. Dynamical phase diagrams were established by varying the concentration of the solutions and the inclination angle of the surfaces.
Findings: Carbopol droplets deposited on lubricated surfaces could move even at low inclination angles. The droplets were found to slide because of the slip of the flowing oil that covered the solid substrate. However, as the descending speed increased, the droplets rolled down. Rolling was favored at high inclinations and low concentrations. A simple criterion based on the ratio between the yield stress of the Carbopol suspensions and the gravitational stress acting on the Carbopol droplets was found to nicely identify the transition between the two regimes.