A gas in between micro- or nanostructures on a submerged superhydrophobic (SHPo) surface allows the liquid on the structures to flow with an effective slip. If large enough, this slippage may entail a drag reduction appreciable for many flow systems. However, the large discrepancies among the slippage levels reported in the literature have led to a widespread misunderstanding on the drag-reducing ability of SHPo surfaces. Today we know that the amount of slip, generally quantified with a slip length, is mainly determined by the structural features of SHPo surfaces, such as the pitch, solid fraction, and pattern type, and further affected by secondary factors, such as the state of the liquid–gas interface. Reviewing the experimental data of laminar flows in the literature comprehensively and comparing them with the theoretical predictions, we provide a global picture of the liquid slip on structured surfaces to assist in rational design of SHPo surfaces for drag reduction. Because the trapped gas, called plastron, vanishes along with its slippage effect in most application conditions, lastly we discuss the recent efforts to prevent its loss. This review is limited to laminar flows, for which the SHPo drag reduction is reasonably well understood.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 19, 2016
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