Wave dynamics on a thin-liquid film falling down a heated wall

Philip Trevelyan, S. Kalliadasis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of a thin liquid film falling down a uniformly heated wall is studied. The model introduced by Kalliadasis et al. [J. Fluid Mech. 475 (2003) 377] for the same problem is revisited and its deficiencies, namely the prediction of a critical Reynolds number with 20% error, cured. For the energy equation a high-order Galerkin projection in terms of polynomial test functions is developed. It is shown that not only does this more refined formulation correct the critical Reynolds number, but it also gives, with an appropriate expansion close to criticality, the long-wave theory. Bifurcation diagrams for permanent solitary waves are constructed and compared with the solution branches obtained from different models. It is shown that, in all cases, the long-wave theory exhibits limit points and branch multiplicity, while the other models predict the continuing existence of solitary waves. Time-dependent computations show that the free surface and interfacial temperature approach a train of coherent structures that resemble the infinite-domain stationary solitary pulses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-208
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Engineering Mathematics
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Falling film
  • Solitary waves
  • Thermocapillary marangoni effect


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