Spontaneous Elastocapillary Winding of Thin Elastic Fibers in Contact with Bubbles Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We study the elastocapillary interaction between flexible microfibers in contact with bubbles trapped at the surface of a liquid bath. Microfibers placed on top of bubbles are found to migrate to and wrap into a coil around the perimeter of the bubble for certain bubble-fiber size combinations. The wrapping process is spontaneous: the coil spins atop the bubble, thereby drawing in excess fiber floating on the bath. A two-dimensional microfiber coil emerges which increases the lifetime of the bubbles. A simple model incorporating surface and bending energies captures the spontaneous winding process.

publication date

  • November 2021