Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Droplet behaviors, Dynamic contact angle, Hoffman function, Numerical modeling and simulation, Proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Two-phase flow


Biao Zhou




Liquid water management is still a very critical challenge in the commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Fundamental understanding of two-phase flow behaviors is of crucial importance to the investigation of water management issues. Recently, it has been noted that the dynamic contact angle (DCA) plays a critical role in the two-phase flow simulations and the conventional static contact angle (SCA) model has obvious limitations in the prediction of droplet behaviors. This thesis mainly focuses on the numerical modeling and simulation of two-phase flow problems with dynamic contact angle (DCA) and is presented by four papers. The first paper proposes and validates an advancing-and-receding DCA (AR-DCA) model that is able to predict both advancing and receding dynamic contact angles using Hoffman function (Chapter 2). In the second paper, the AR-DCA model is further applied to simulate droplet behaviors on inclined surfaces with different impact velocities, impact angles and droplet viscosities (Chapter 3). The third paper introduces a methodology to improve the evaluation method of contact line velocity in the AR-DCA model and an improved-AR-DCA (i-AR-DCA) model is developed (Chapter 4). The last paper presents different flow regimes in a single straight microchannel under various air and water inlet flow rates (Chapter 5).