Pattern transitions in a compressible floating elastic sheet†
Thin rigid sheets floating on a liquid substrate appear, for example, in coatings and surfactant monolayers. Upon uniaxial compression the sheet undergoes transitions from a compressed flat state to a periodic wrinkled pattern to a localized folded pattern. The stability of these states is determined by the in-plane elasticity of the sheet, its bending rigidity, and the hydrostatics of the underlying liquid. Wrinkles and folds, and the wrinkle-to-fold transition, were previously studied for incompressible sheets. In the present work we extend the theory to include finite compressibility. We analyze the details of the flat-to-wrinkle transition, the effects of compressibility on wrinkling and folding, and the compression field associated with pattern formation. The state diagram of the floating sheet including all three states is presented.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Surface chemistry and interface science