Sinking a Granular Raft

Suzie Protière, Christophe Josserand, Jeffrey M. Aristoff, Howard A. Stone, Manouk Abkarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We report experiments that yield new insights on the behavior of granular rafts at an oil-water interface. We show that these particle aggregates can float or sink depending on dimensionless parameters taking into account the particle densities and size and the densities of the two fluids. We characterize the raft shape and stability and propose a model to predict its shape and maximum length to remain afloat. Finally we find that wrinkles and folds appear along the raft due to compression by its own weight, which can trigger destabilization. These features are characteristics of an elastic instability, which we discuss, including the limitations of our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 6 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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