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Stationary patterns in centrifugally driven interfacial elastic fingering

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Journal Physical Review E
DatePublished - 10 Dec 2014
Issue number6
Volume90
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A vortex sheet formalism is used to search for equilibrium shapes in the centrifugally driven interfacial elastic fingering problem. We study the development of interfacial instabilities when a viscous fluid surrounded by another of smaller density flows in the confined environment of a rotating Hele-Shaw cell. The peculiarity of the situation is associated to the fact that, due to a chemical reaction, the two-fluid boundary becomes an elastic layer. The interplay between centrifugal and elastic forces leads to the formation of a rich variety of stationary shapes. Visually striking equilibrium morphologies are obtained from the numerical solution of a nonlinear differential equation for the interface curvature (the shape equation), determined by a zero vorticity condition. Classification of the various families of shapes is made via two dimensionless parameters: an effective bending rigidity (ratio of elastic to centrifugal effects) and a geometrical radius of gyration.

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