Darcy’s Flow with Prescribed Contact Angle: Well-Posedness and Lubrication Approximation

Hans Knüpfer, Nader Masmoudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the spreading of a thin two-dimensional droplet on a solid substrate. We use a model for viscous fluids where the evolution is governed by Darcy’s law. At the contact point where air and liquid meet the solid substrate, a constant, non-zero contact angle (partial wetting) is assumed. We show local and global well-posedness of this free boundary problem in the presence of the moving contact point. Our estimates are uniform in the contact angle assumed by the liquid at the contact point. In the so-called lubrication approximation (long-wave limit) we show that the solutions converge to the solution of a one-dimensional degenerate parabolic fourth order equation which belongs to a family of thin-film equations. The main technical difficulty is to describe the evolution of the non-smooth domain and to identify suitable spaces that capture the transition to the asymptotic model uniformly in the small parameter $${\varepsilon}$$ε.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-646
Number of pages58
JournalArchive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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