In this article, the contact angle hysteresis (CAH) of acrylic glass is experimentally and theoretically studied through the compression-relaxation process of droplets by using a superhydrophobic surface with negligible CAH effect. In contrast to the existing technique in which the volume of the droplet changes during the measurement of CAH, this procedure is carried out at a constant volume of the droplet. By observing the base diameter (BD) and the contact angle (CA) of the droplet during the compression-relaxation process, the wetting behavior of the droplet can be divided into two regimes, the contact line withdrawal and the contact line pinning regimes, depending on the gap thickness (H) at the end of the compression process. During the compression process, both regimes possess similar droplet behavior; the contact line will move outward and the BD will expand while the CA remains at the advancing angle. During the relaxation process, the two regimes are significantly different. In the contact line withdrawal regime, the contact line will withdraw with the CA remaining at the receding angle. In the contact line pinning regime, however, the contact line will be pinned at the final position and the CA will decline to a certain value higher than the receding angle. Furthermore, the advancing pinning behavior can also be realized through a successive compression-relaxation process. On the basis of the liquid-induced defects model, Surface Evolver simulations are performed to reproduce the behavior of the droplet during the compression-relaxation process; both contact line withdrawal and pinning regimes can also be identified. The results of the experiment and simulation agree with each other very well.
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