Coalescence of Elastic Blisters Filled with a Viscous Fluid

Torstein Sæter, Christian Pedersen, Jacco H. Snoeijer, Thomas Salez, Andreas Carlson

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Pockets of viscous fluid coalescing beneath an elastic sheet are encountered in a wide range of natural phenomena and engineering processes, spanning across scales. As the pockets merge, a bridge is formed with a height increasing as the sheet relaxes. We study the spatiotemporal dynamics of such an elastohydrodynamic coalescence process by combining experiments, lubrication theory, and numerical simulations. The bridge height exhibits an exponential growth with time, which corresponds to a self-similar solution of the bending-driven thin-film equation. We address this unique self-similarity and the self-similar shape of the bridge, both of which are corroborated in numerical simulations and experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024


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