Detailed finite element method modeling of evaporating multi-component droplets

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The evaporation of sessile multi-component droplets is modeled with an axisymmetic finite element method. The model comprises the coupled processes of mixture evaporation, multi-component flow with composition-dependent fluid properties and thermal effects. Based on representative examples of water–glycerol and water–ethanol droplets, regular and chaotic examples of solutal Marangoni flows are discussed. Furthermore, the relevance of the substrate thickness for the evaporative cooling of volatile binary mixture droplets is pointed out. It is shown how the evaporation of the more volatile component can drastically decrease the interface temperature, so that ambient vapor of the less volatile component condenses on the droplet. Finally, results of this model are compared with corresponding results of a lubrication theory model, showing that the application of lubrication theory can cause considerable errors even for moderate contact angles of 40°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-687
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Droplets
  • Evaporation
  • Finite element method
  • Marangoni flow
  • Multi-component flow


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