Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Flexible scraping of viscous fluids

Jacopo Seiwerta1a2, David Quéréa1a2 and Christophe Claneta1a2 c1

a1 LadHyX, UMR 7646 du CNRS, École Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau CEDEX, France

a2 Physique et Mécanique des milieux hétérogènes, UMR 7636 du CNRS, ESPCI, 75005 Paris, France


We study the thickness of the liquid film left on a wet surface after scraping it with an elastic wiper (length , rigidity ) moved at a velocity . The scraper is clamped vertically at a given distance above the substrate, and is maximal when the tip of the scraper is just tangent to the surface. We show experimentally and theoretically that this maximum thickness is where is the liquid viscosity. The deposition law is found to be sensitive to the shape of the wiper: the film thickness can also be tuned by using wipers with a permanent curvature, and varying this curvature.

(Received February 09 2012)

(Revised September 01 2012)

(Accepted October 19 2012)

Key words

  • interfacial flows (free surface);
  • low-Reynolds-number flows;
  • thin films


c1 Email address for correspondence: