Although droplet spreading on smooth surfaces is well known, spreading on
textile materials is still not fully understood. Compared to a solid surface, on
textile the liquid can penetrate the holes in the fabric but also spontaneously flow through the porous networks inside the fabric (wicking), making droplet
spreading more complex compared to smooth surfaces. Understanding droplet
spreading on textile materials is important for applications in the textile industry and forensic research.
We study droplet impact on thin mono?lament polyester fabric as a function
of the fabric pore size and its wettability. First, the difference between droplet
spreading on a smooth surface (stainless steel) and the fabric is investigated
where the fabric is either placed on a substrate or suspended in the air. We
show that a droplet spreads less on the fabric compared to the smooth surface.
Furthermore, a difference in spreading is observed between the spreading on
fabric with and without substrate due to the liquid penetrating the fabric. Sec-
ondly, droplet fragmentation of the penetrating liquid is investigated. Using
simulations, we determine the physical processes behind droplet spreading and
the subsequent fragmentation.
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