The deformation of a flexible filament held fixed at one end in a nonuniform viscous flow with curved streamlines is considered, with a focus on the filament dynamics and steady-state shape. Our motivation arises from recent microfluidic experiments on biofilm formation in a channel with bends, where thread-like structures, or streamers, were observed, attached to the side walls downstream of each corner and connecting consecutive corners while floating in the middle plane of the channel [Rusconi et al. J. R. Soc. Interface 7, 1293 (2010)]. We discuss the time evolution and final shape of the filament in different corner geometries as a function of a non-dimensional elasticity parameter that compares viscous and elastic effects. Since the filament develops tension, when the flow has curved streamlines the filament does not align with the flow, as occurs in a rectilinear flow, but rather it crosses the streamlines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes