Dynamics and mechanism of liquid film collapse in a foam†
Foams have unique properties that distinguish them from ordinary liquids and gases, and are ubiquitously observed in nature, both in biological systems and industrial products. Foams are known to eventually collapse over time; given their wide-range industrial application, understanding how bubbles in a foam collapse is an important aspect for product longevity and tailoring physical properties. Previously, it was shown that droplets are emitted during the collective bubble collapse, however the mechanism of the droplet emission in a foam is not yet clearly understood. It is directly related to the stability of the foam, thus we quantitatively investigate collapse dynamics in liquid films in a foam, and identify some unique features. When one film breaks, we see that the oscillation of the vertical Plateau border to which it is connected induces anomalous liquid transport from the edge of the border to the center. Once a crack appears near the border and a collapse front is formed, we find that the curvature of the front reverses as it migrates, followed by the emergence and emission of droplets. We elucidate the origins of this behavior and discuss the stability of foams, establishing how the characteristic time scales of the process relate to each other.