Liquid drops on vertical and inclined surfaces: II. A method for approximating drop shapes

A. I. ElSherbini, A. M. Jacobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, a new method is proposed to approximate the shapes of liquid drops on vertical and inclined surfaces. Based on observations from Part I, the profile of a drop at a given azimuthal angle is approximated by two circles sharing a common tangent at the maximum height. The drop volume is obtained by integrating all profiles over the circumference of the base. The volume is thus described as a function of the contact angles and the three-phase contact line. The new method accurately predicts the volumes of drops tested in Part I and independent measurements from the literature. Simplifying the drop shape to a spherical cap can lead to a 75% error in drop-volume prediction. The proposed method is used to study the effect of drop parameters on volume prediction. The two-circle geometry can also be used to measure contact angles from profile images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-575
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2004


  • Contact angle
  • Contact line
  • Drop shape
  • Volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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