Nectar-drinking bats and honeybees have tongues covered with hairlike structures, enhancing their ability to take up viscous nectar by dipping. Using a combination of model experiments and theory, we explore the physical mechanisms that govern viscous entrainment in a hairy texture. Hairy surfaces are fabricated using laser cut molds and casting samples with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer. We model the liquid trapped within the texture using a Darcy-Brinkmann-like approach and derive the drainage flow solution. The amount of fluid that is entrained is dependent on the viscosity of the fluid, the density of the hairs, and the withdrawal speed. Both experiments and theory reveal an optimal hair density to maximize fluid uptake.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes