Bubble shapes in foams: the importance of being isotropic

Sascha Hilgenfeldt, Andrew M. Kraynik, Douglas A. Reinelt, John M. Sullivan

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Abstract

Foams, and by extension a whole class of random cellular materials are characterized by minimizing total interfacial area between the cells. Both structure and evolution of such materials by aging (coarsening) are ill-understood because of our lack of knowledge of the cell geometry. Combining Plateau's rules and certain symmetry requirements, we analytically determine the geometry of generic polyhedral cells we call Isotropic Plateau Polyhedra (IPPs). Their properties, such as surface area, edge length, or coarsening rate, are exactly known and very close approximations to the corresponding properties of average, random foam bubbles. Certain IPPs can also be found experimentally in soap foam. We show that measuring the coarsening rate of these bubbles allows for the simple computation of the soap film thickness, which is found to vary with foam age.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMechanics of the 21st century: 21st International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
EditorsWitold Gutkowski, Tomasz A. Kowalewski
Place of PublicationBerlin, Germany
PublisherSpringer
Pages-
ISBN (Print)9781402035593
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2004
EventXXI International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, ICTAM 2004 - Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 15 Aug 200421 Aug 2004
Conference number: 21

Publication series

Name
PublisherSpringer

Conference

ConferenceXXI International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, ICTAM 2004
Abbreviated titleICTAM
CountryPoland
CityWarsaw
Period15/08/0421/08/04

Keywords

  • METIS-318208
  • IR-101663

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    Hilgenfeldt, S., Kraynik, A. M., Reinelt, D. A., & Sullivan, J. M. (2004). Bubble shapes in foams: the importance of being isotropic. In W. Gutkowski, & T. A. Kowalewski (Eds.), Mechanics of the 21st century: 21st International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (pp. -). Berlin, Germany: Springer.