Torsional instability of constant viscosity elastic liquid bridges

San To Chan, Stylianos Varchanis, Simon J. Haward, Amy Q. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


By experiment and simulation, we report that viscoelastic liquid bridges made of constant viscosity elastic liquids, a.k.a. Boger fluids, can be effectively destabilized by torsion. Under torsion, the deformation of the liquid bridge depends on the competition between elastocapillarity and torsion-induced normal stress effects. When the elastocapillary effect dominates, the liquid bridge undergoes elastocapillary instability and thins into a cylindrical thread, whose length increases and whose radius decays exponentially over time. When the torsion-induced normal stress effect dominates, the liquid bridge deforms in a way similar to edge fracture, a flow instability characterized by the sudden indentation of the fluid's free surface when a viscoelastic fluid is sheared at above a critical deformation rate. The vertical component of the normal stress causes the upper and lower portions of the liquid bridge to approach each other, and the radial component of the normal stress results in the liquid bridge thinning more quickly than under elastocapillarity. Whether such quick thinning continues until the bridge breaks depends on both the liquid bridge configuration and the level of torsion applied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1965-1977
Number of pages13
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number10
StatePublished - Feb 7 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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