Rayleigh-Taylor instability in soft elastic layers


Rayleigh-Taylor instability in soft elastic layers
Wednesday 4th January 2017
Riccobelli, D.; Ciarletta, P.
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This work investigates the morphological stability of a soft body composed of two heavy elastic layers, attached to a rigid surface and subjected only to the bulk gravity force. Using theoretical and computational tools, we characterize the selection of different patterns as well as their nonlinear evolution, unveiling the interplay between elastic and geometric effects for their formation. Unlike similar gravity-induced shape transitions in fluids, as the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, we prove that the nonlinear elastic effects saturate the dynamic instability of the bifurcated solutions, displaying a rich morphological diagram where both digitations and stable wrinkling can emerge. The results of this work provide important guidelines for the design of novel soft systems with tunable shapes, with several applications in engineering sciences.
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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences