We report on the Rayleigh–Plateau instability in films of giant micelle solutions coating a vertical fibre. We observe that the dynamics of thin films coating the fibre could be very different from the Newtonian or standard non-Newtonian cases. By varying the concentration of the components of the solutions and depending on the film thickness, we show for the first time that the Rayleigh–Plateau instability can be stabilized using surfactant solutions. Using global rheology and optical visualisations, we show that the development of shear-induced structures is required to stabilize the micellar film along the fibre. Assuming that the viscoelastic properties of the shear-induced state can be described by a simple model, we suggest that, in addition to the presence of shear-induced structures, the latter must have an elastic modulus greater than a critical value evaluated from a linear stability analysis. Finally, our analysis provides a way of estimating the bulk elasticity of the shear-induced state.
You have access to this article
Please wait while we load your content...
Something went wrong. Try again?