In a manifold of branches of industry such as ink-jet printing, painting and coating technologies, cosmetic production and others, wetting dynamics plays a crucial role. In the last years, soft wetting, that is wetting phenomena occurring on soft surfaces, has gained increasing attention, since a number of surfaces created by nature as well as surfaces used in industry are deformable (for instance, human hair and biological tissues, elastic membranes and soft polymer gels, micro- and nanofibers). Therefore, understanding of soft wetting is imperative for ability to predict behavior of such surfaces and tune it to reach better efficiency of application. The omnipresence of these processes may give the semblance of their simplicity. However, they can barely be fully explained without a concept of surface forces acting in the close vicinity of the three-phase contact line.
In the frame of this project, we develop a models to describe the wetting dynamics of a droplet after deposition onto elastic surfaces, both smooth and structured (particularly, permeable). The models are based on the numerical solution of the long-wave theory equation coupled with the solution of the elasticity problem for the substrate. The action of surface forces is described using the disjoining pressure concept which allows to set the equilibrium contact angle of the droplet and the thickness of the adsorbed layer.