Fundamental Studies of Capillary Forces in Porous Media
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The contact angle defined by Young's equation depends on the ratio between solid and liquid surface energies. Young's contact angle is constant for a given system, and cannot explain the stability of fluid droplets in capillary tubes. Within this framework, large variations in contact angle and explained aassuming surface roughness, heterogeneity or contamination. This research explores the static and dynamic behavior of fluid droplets within capillary tubes and the variations in contact angle among interacting menisci. Various cases are considered including wetting and non-wetting gluids, droplets in inclined capillary tubes or subjected to a pressure difference, within one-dimensional and three-dimensional capillary systems, and under static or dynamic conditions (either harmonic fluid pressure or tube oscillation). The research approach is based on complementary analytical modeling (total energy formulation) and experimental techniques (microscopic observations). The evolution of meniscus curvatures and droplet displacements are studied in all cases. Analytical and experimental results show that droplets can be stable within capillary tubes even under the influence of an external force, the resulting contact angles are not constant, and bariations from Young's contact angle aare extensively justified as menisci interaction. Menisci introduce stiffness, therefore two immiscible Newtonian fluids behave as a Maxwellian fluid, and droplets can exhibit resonance or relaxation spectral features.