Thin-Film Flow of an Inhomogeneous Fluid with Density-Dependent Viscosity Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( In this paper, we study the pressure-driven thin film flow of an inhomogeneous incompressible fluid in which its viscosity depends on the density. The constitutive response of this class of fluids can be derived using a thermodynamical framework put into place to describe the dissipative response of materials where the materials' stored energy depends on the gradient of the density (Mechanics of Materials, 2006, 38, pp. 233-242). Assuming a small aspect ratio for the channel, we use the lubrication approximation and focus on the leading order problem. We show the mathematical problem reduce to a nonlinear first order partial differential equation (PDE) for the density in which the coefficients are integral operators. The problem is solved numerically and plots that describe the evolution of the density in the fluid domain are displayed. We also show that it was possible to determine an analytical solution of the problem when the boundary data are small perturbations of the homogeneous case. Finally, we use such an analytical solution to validate the numerical scheme.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fusi, L., Farina, A., Rosso, F., & Rajagopal, K.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • February 2019

published in