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Rivulet flow over a flexible beam

Author(s): Howell, PD; Kim, H; Popova, MG; Stone, Howard A

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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 σ (t) and the deflection angle at the front φ (t) to go through a number of different power-law behaviours. For early times, the liquid spreads like a horizontal gravity current, with σ (t) ∝ t4/5 and φ (t) ∝ t13/5. For intermediate times, the deflection of the beam leads to rapid acceleration of the liquid layer, with σ (t) ∝ t4 and φ (t) / t9. Finally, when the beam has sagged to become almost vertical, the liquid film flows downward with σ (t) ∝ t and φ (t) ∼ π=2. We demonstrate good agreement between these theoretical predictions and experimental results.
Publication Date: Jun-2016
Electronic Publication Date: 4-May-2016
Citation: Howell, PD, Kim, H, Popova, MG, Stone, HA. (2016). Rivulet flow over a flexible beam. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 796 (285 - 305. doi:10.1017/jfm.2016.258
DOI: doi:10.1017/jfm.2016.258
ISSN: 0022-1120
EISSN: 1469-7645
Pages: 285 - 305
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Version: Author's manuscript

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