76th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 19, 2023 — November 21, 2023)

P0025: Growing elastomeric stalactites

  • Barath Venkateswaran, Princeton University
  • Lauren Dreier, Princeton University
  • Trevor Jones, Carnegie Mellon University
  • P.-T. Brun, Princeton University
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/APS.DFD.2023.GFM.P0025

Instabilities are all around us in nature. Our system involves the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, where we coat a cylinder with a thin film of curable elastomer and spin it about its axis. The centripetal forces act on the thin film and destabilise it, while the capillary forces in the film will try to minimise the exposed surface area and try to stabilise it. This interplay between different forces spontaneously forms a self organised array of cured drops on the cylinder surface. This process of coat-destabilize-cure can be repeated multiple times on previously cured layers to eventually form a forest of soft and slender stalactite-like projections (red and blue dye used alternatively for ease of visualisation).

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