Liquid ropes: A geometrical model for thin viscous jet instabilities

P. T. Brun, Basile Audoly, Neil M. Ribe, T. S. Eaves, John R. Lister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Thin, viscous fluid threads falling onto a moving belt behave in a way reminiscent of a sewing machine, generating a rich variety of periodic stitchlike patterns including meanders, W patterns, alternating loops, and translated coiling. These patterns form to accommodate the difference between the belt speed and the terminal velocity at which the falling thread strikes the belt. Using direct numerical simulations, we show that inertia is not required to produce the aforementioned patterns. We introduce a quasistatic geometrical model which captures the patterns, consisting of three coupled ordinary differential equations for the radial deflection, the orientation, and the curvature of the path of the thread's contact point with the belt. The geometrical model reproduces well the observed patterns and the order in which they appear as a function of the belt speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 30 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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