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Rivulet flow over a flexible beam

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2016

P. D. Howell
Affiliation:
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Andrew Wiles Building, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK
H. Kim
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
M. G. Popova
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
H. A. Stone*
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
*
Email address for correspondence: hastone@princeton.edu

Abstract

We study theoretically and experimentally how a thin layer of liquid flows along a flexible beam. The flow is modelled using lubrication theory and the substrate is modelled as an elastica which deforms according to the Euler–Bernoulli equation. A constant flux of liquid is supplied at one end of the beam, which is clamped horizontally, while the other end of the beam is free. As the liquid film spreads, its weight causes the beam deflection to increase, which in turn enhances the spreading rate of the liquid. This feedback mechanism causes the front position ${\it\sigma}(t)$ and the deflection angle at the front ${\it\phi}(t)$ to go through a number of different power-law behaviours. For early times, the liquid spreads like a horizontal gravity current, with ${\it\sigma}(t)\propto t^{4/5}$ and ${\it\phi}(t)\propto t^{13/5}$. For intermediate times, the deflection of the beam leads to rapid acceleration of the liquid layer, with ${\it\sigma}(t)\propto t^{4}$ and ${\it\phi}(t)\propto t^{9}$. Finally, when the beam has sagged to become almost vertical, the liquid film flows downward with ${\it\sigma}(t)\propto t$ and ${\it\phi}(t)\sim {\rm\pi}/2$. We demonstrate good agreement between these theoretical predictions and experimental results.

Type
Papers
Copyright
© 2016 Cambridge University Press 

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Footnotes

P. D. Howell and H. Kim contributed equally to this work.

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Howell et al. supplementary movie

A "small deflection" experiment

Download Howell et al. supplementary movie(Video)
Video 4 MB

Howell et al. supplementary movie

A "large deflection" experiment

Download Howell et al. supplementary movie(Video)
Video 1 MB
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