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Inertial coalescence of droplets on a partially wetting substrate
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We consider the growth rate of the height of the connecting bridge in rapid surface-tension-driven coalescence of two identical droplets attached on a partially wetting substrate. For a wide range of contact angle values, the height of the bridge grows with time following a power law with a universal exponent of 2/3, up to a threshold time, beyond which a 1/2 exponent results, that is known for coalescence of freely-suspended droplets. In a narrow range of contact angle values close to 90°, this threshold time rapidly vanishes and a 1/2 exponent results for a 90° contact angle. The argument is confirmed by three-dimensional numerical simulations based on a diffuse interface method with adaptive mesh refinement and a volume-of-fluid method.
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