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Absorption of impinging water droplet in porous stones

Lee, J.B., Radu, A.I., Vontobel, P., Derome, D., Carmeliet, J.
Journal of colloid and interface science 2016 v.471 pp. 59-70
absorption, air, droplets, evaporation, image analysis, mathematical models, neutrons, porous media, radiography, water content
This paper presents an experimental investigation and numerical analysis of the absorption of water droplets impacting porous stones. The absorption process of an impinging droplet is here fully characterized from spreading to evaporation in terms of absorbed mass during droplet depletion and moisture content distribution in a time-resolved manner for three different natural stones. High-speed imaging and neutron radiography are used to quantify moisture absorption in porous stones of varying moisture properties from deposition until depletion. During impact and spreading, the droplet exhibits a dynamic non-wetting behavior. At maximum spreading, the droplet undergoes pinning, resulting into the contact radius remaining constant until droplet depletion. Absorption undergoes two phases: initially, absorption is hindered due a contact resistance attributed to entrapped air; afterwards, a more perfect capillary contact occurs and absorption goes on until depletion, concurrently with evaporation and further redistribution. A finite-element numerical model for isothermal unsaturated moisture transport in porous media captures the phases of mass absorption in good agreement with the experimental data. Droplet spreading and absorption are highly determined by the impact velocity of the droplet, while moisture content redistribution after depletion is much less dependent on impact conditions.