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Elastocapillary adhesion of a soft cap on a rigid sphere

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Abstract

We study the capillary adhesion of a spherical elastic cap on a rigid sphere of a different radius. Caps of small area accommodate the combination of flexural and in-plane strains induced by the mismatch in curvature, and fully adhere to the sphere. Conversely, wider caps delaminate and exhibit only partial contact. We determine the maximum size of the cap enabling full adhesion and describe its dependence on experimental parameters through a balance of stretching and adhesion energies. Beyond the maximum size, complex adhesion patterns such as blisters, bubbles or star shapes are observed. We rationalize these different states in configuration diagrams where stretching, bending and adhesion energies are compared through two dimensionless parameters.

Graphical abstract: Elastocapillary adhesion of a soft cap on a rigid sphere

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Article information


Submitted
15 Oct 2019
Accepted
06 Jan 2020
First published
22 Jan 2020

Soft Matter, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Elastocapillary adhesion of a soft cap on a rigid sphere

H. Bense, M. Tani, M. Saint-Jean, E. Reyssat, B. Roman and J. Bico, Soft Matter, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SM02057H

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