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Wetting of crossed fibers: Multiple steady states and symmetry breaking

Abstract : We investigate the wetting properties of the simplest element of an array of random fibers: two rigid fibers crossing with an inclination angle and in contact with a droplet of a perfectly wetting liquid. We show experimentally that the liquid adopts different morphologies when the inclination angle is increased: a column shape, a mixed morphology state where a drop lies at the end of a column, or a drop centered at the node. An analytical model is provided that predicts the wetting length as well as the presence of a non-symmetric state in the mixed morphology regime. The model also highlights a symmetry breaking at the transition between the column state and the mixed morphology. The possibility to tune the morphology of the liquid could have important implications for drying processes. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2014
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Submitted on : Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 8:50:16 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 6:28:36 PM

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Alban Sauret, Alison D. Bick, Camille Duprat, Howard A. Stone. Wetting of crossed fibers: Multiple steady states and symmetry breaking. EPL - Europhysics Letters, European Physical Society/EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/IOP Publishing, 2014, 105 (5), ⟨10.1209/0295-5075/105/56006⟩. ⟨hal-00995142⟩



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