On the distinguished limits of the Navier slip model of the moving contact line problem

Weiqing Ren, Philippe H. Trinh, Weinan E

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


When a droplet spreads on a solid substrate, it is unclear what the correct boundary conditions are to impose at the moving contact line. The classical no-slip condition is generally acknowledged to lead to a non-integrable singularity at the moving contact line, which a slip condition, associated with a small slip parameter, λ, serves to alleviate. In this paper, we discuss what occurs as the slip parameter, λ, tends to zero. In particular, we explain how the zero-slip limit should be discussed in consideration of two distinguished limits: one where time is held constant, t=O(1), and one where time tends to infinity at the rate t=O(|log λ|). The crucial result is that in the case where time is held constant, the λ → 0 limit converges to the slip-free equation, and contact line slippage occurs as a regular perturbative effect. However, if λ → 0 and t → ∞, then contact line slippage is a leading-order singular effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-126
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • contact lines
  • lubrication theory
  • thin films


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