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Elastocapillary flows

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Ed Brambley.

The deformation of elastic structures under capillary forces (elastocapillarity) and their interaction with fluid flow (elastohydrodynamics), are important in many biological, geophysical and engineering processes. In this talk, I will present three model systems of elastocapillary flows, using a combination of experiment, theory, and numerical simulation. First, I will present two model systems of surface-tension-driven flows into a gap between flexible boundaries (i.e. elastocapillary imbibition), with and without gravitational effects, to demonstrate how the presence of flexible boundaries leads to a departure from classical imbibition. A criterion for the coalescence of the boundaries (i.e. liquid capture) is established. Then, I will consider the elastocapillary response of an array of elastic fibres interacting with a mist of droplets. For both the wetting and deformation of the substrates, universal rules are deduced from the geometric and material properties of the fibres and the volume of the drops. Further, I apply these results to the drying of flexible fibre arrays.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) series.

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