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Elastocapillary Coiling of an Elastic Rod Inside a Drop

Abstract : Capillary forces acting at the surface of a liquid drop can be strong enough to deform small objects and recent studies have provided several examples of elastic instabilities induced by surface tension. We present such an example where a liquid drop sits on a straight fiber, and we show that the liquid attracts the fiber which thereby coils inside the drop. We derive the equilibrium equations for the system, compute bifurcation curves, and show the packed fiber may adopt several possible configurations inside the drop. We use the energy of the system to discriminate between the different configurations and find a intermittent regime between two-dimensional and three-dimensional solutions as more and more fiber is driven inside the drop.
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Hervé Elettro, Paul Grandgeorge, Sébastien Neukirch. Elastocapillary Coiling of an Elastic Rod Inside a Drop. Journal of Elasticity, Springer Verlag, 2016, 127 (2), pp.235-247. ⟨10.1007/s10659-016-9611-4⟩. ⟨hal-01445679⟩

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