Iterated stretching and multiple beads-on-a-string phenomena in dilute solutions of highly-extensible flexible polymers

Oliveira, Monica and McKinley, G.H. (2005) Iterated stretching and multiple beads-on-a-string phenomena in dilute solutions of highly-extensible flexible polymers. Physics of Fluids, 17 (7). 071704. ISSN 1070-6631

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    Abstract

    The dynamics of elastocapillary thinning in high molecular weight polymer solutions are re-examined using high-speed digital video microscopy. At long times, the evolution of the viscoelastic thread deviates from self-similar exponential decay and the competition of elastic, capillary, and inertial forces leads to the formation of a periodic array of beads connected by axially uniform ligaments. This configuration is itself unstable and successive instabilities propagate from the necks connecting the beads and the ligaments. This iterated process results in the development of multiple generations of beads in agreement with the predictions of Chang, Demekin, and Kalaidin “Iterated stretching of viscoelastic jets,” Phys. Fluids 11, 1717 1999 although experiments yield a different recursion relation between successive generations. At long times, finite molecular extensibility truncates the iterated instability and axial translation of the bead arrays along the interconnecting threads leads to a progressive coalescence before the rupture of the filament.