Adhesion of spheres by thin liquid films

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89 Scopus citations


Thin liquid films may produce significant adhesion between solid bodies, such as powder agglomerates and ultra-flat surfaces. The adhesive force can be split into two components; the meniscus force and a viscous component which, at sufficiently high deformation rates, will become dominant. This paper presents an analysis for the viscous component of adhesion acting between spheres coated by thin liquid layers, which is expressed as the impulse required to separate the spheres. This impulse depends on the radii and surface roughness of the spheres, and the fluid viscosity and thickness. The dependence on the roughness and quantity of fluid is unexpectedly weak (i.e. logarithmic). The predictions of the analysis are confirmed by direct experiment using a simple force pendulum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Magazine A: Physics of Condensed Matter, Structure, Defects and Mechanical Properties
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Metals and Alloys


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