Microstructural effects in aqueous foam fracture

Stewart, P. S. , Davis, S. H. and Hilgenfeldt, S. (2015) Microstructural effects in aqueous foam fracture. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 785, pp. 425-461. (doi: 10.1017/jfm.2015.636)

111465.pdf - Accepted Version



We examine the fracture of a quasi-two-dimensional surfactant-laden aqueous foam under an applied driving pressure, using a network modelling approach developed for metallic foams by Stewart & Davis (J. Rheol., vol. 56, 2012, p. 543). In agreement with experiments, we observe two distinct mechanisms of failure analogous to those observed in a crystalline solid: a slow ductile mode when the driving pressure is applied slowly, where the void propagates as bubbles interchange neighbours through the T1 process; and a rapid brittle mode for faster application of pressures, where the void advances by successive rupture of liquid films driven by Rayleigh–Taylor instability. The simulations allow detailed insight into the mechanics of the fracturing medium and the role of its microstructure. In particular, we examine the stress distribution around the crack tip and investigate how brittle fracture localizes into a single line of breakages. We also confirm that pre-existing microstructural defects can alter the course of fracture.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stewart, Professor Peter
Authors: Stewart, P. S., Davis, S. H., and Hilgenfeldt, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1469-7645
Published Online:23 November 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Journal of Fluid Mechanics 785:425-461
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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