WIAS Preprint No. 1814, (2013)

Gradient flow perspective of thin-film bilayer flows


  • Huth, Robert
  • Jachalski, Sebastian
  • Kitavtsev, Georgy
  • Peschka, Dirk
    ORCID: 0000-0002-3047-1140

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 76A20 35R37 37D35 35K65


  • thin-film, gradient flow, moving boundary problem, bilayer




We study gradient flow formulations of thin-film bilayer flows with triple-junctions between liquid/liquid/air. First we highlight the gradient structure in the Stokes free-boundary flow and identify its solutions with the well known PDE with boundary conditions. Next we propose a similar gradient formulation for the corresponding thin-film model and formally identify solutions with those of the corresponding free-boundary problem. A robust numerical algorithm for the thin-film gradient flow structure is then provided. Using this algorithm we compare the sharp triple-junction model with precursor models. For their stationary solutions a rigorous connection is established using Gamma-convergence. For time-dependent solutions the comparison of numerical solutions shows a good agreement for small and moderate times. Finally we study spreading in the zero-contact angle case, where we compare numerical solutions with asymptotically exact source-type solutions.

Appeared in

  • J. Engrg. Math., 94 (2015) pp. 43--61.

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