Suction effects of craters under water†
Octopus-inspired cratered surfaces have recently emerged as a new class of reusable physical adhesives. Preload-dependent adhesion and enhanced adhesion under water distinguish them from the well-studied gecko-inspired pillared surfaces. Despite growing experimental evidence, modeling frameworks and mechanistic understanding of cratered surfaces are still very limited. We recently developed a framework to evaluate suction forces produced by isolated craters in air. In this paper, we focus on underwater craters. The suction force–preload relation predicted by this framework has been validated by experiments carried out with an incompressible fluid under small and moderate preloads. Our model breaks down under a large preload due to multiple possible reasons including liquid vaporization. A direct comparison between liquid and air-filled craters has been carried out and the dependence on the depth of water has been revealed. We find that the suction forces generated by underwater craters scale with the specimen modulus but exhibit non-monotonic dependence on the aspect ratio of the craters.