Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hanging by a thread: Why bent fibers hold more water

03.04.2018

On your next stroll through the woods, take a look at the dew droplets hanging from the leaves. If you see moisture on a cypress or juniper tree with their distinct bifurcated leaves, you'll likely see those water droplets defying the rules of physics.

Inspired by the large droplets that form on a leaf tip or other thin filament, a team of researchers from Utah State University, University of Liège, Belgium, and Brigham Young University have found the exact angle at which a bent fiber holds the most fluid. Their findings were published March 15 in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Soft Matter, a top journal covering physics, chemistry and biology.


Researchers found the exact angle at which a bent fiber holds the most fluid. The research has many applications including drug manufacturing or developing technologies that use microfluidics.

Credit: USU/Zhao Pan

Lead researcher Dr. Tadd Truscott, creator of the world-renowned Splash Lab at USU, says the study offers important insight into the field of fluid dynamics.

"For the first time, we can identify the exact angle of a bent fiber that will hold the most fluid," he said. "This research has many industrial applications including drug manufacturing or in developing technologies that use microfluidics. This could also be useful in developing more efficient fog-collection nets which are becoming more popular in arid regions. Or on the other hand, this research could inspire a more efficient dehumidifier design."

Truscott uses the analogy of a spider web to illustrate the bent fiber concept. Water droplets attach to the web fibers at various locations, but the largest drops accumulate at the intersections of fibers that form acute angles. The best angle for a large droplet: 36 degrees.

"After experimental testing, we determined that a bent fiber forming a 36-degree angle traps the most water," Truscott added. "That amount is three times more than can be suspended on a horizontal fiber."

The researchers, including USU's Dr. Zhao Pan, Dr. Floriane Weyer and Dr. Nicolas Vandewalle of the University of Liège and Dr. William Pitt of BYU, tested their bent-fiber theory using a specially-constructed apparatus. Drs. Weyer and Pan built a rigid circular frame and strung nylon fibers from one side of the frame to the other. Next they attached a narrower fiber at the center and pulled the original horizontal fiber upward, forming an upside-down v. By varying the fiber attachment locations, they could change the angle formed between the two halves of the bent fiber.

Liquids were applied to the fiber corner using a micro-pipette. The volume of the droplet increased incrementally until the droplet detached from the fiber.

Truscott and his colleagues at the Splash Lab used high-speed photography to capture the entire process. The footage and other details were then analyzed and mathematically modeled by USU's Zhao Pan with the help of William Pitt at BYU.

The researchers, of course, are not the first to be inspired by droplets in nature. The ancient poet Tu Fu (AD 712 - 770) recorded his observation of "heavy dew beads and trickles." Jules Renard penned a similar observation about 125 years ago: "A few dew drops on a spider web and here is a diamond river." Truscott says the droplet study offers a connection between science and art.

"That's the best part of our lab," he said. "We are science nerds from different cultures, but we are all passionate about literature and art."

###

Researcher Contact: Dr. Tadd Truscott - Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Utah State University | taddtruscott@gmail.com | office: +1-435-797-8246 | @TheSplashLab | splashlab.org

For additional media assistance, contact: Matt Jensen - USU College of Engineering | matthew.jensen@usu.edu | office: +1-435-797-8170 | cell: +1-801-362-0830 | @EngineeringUSU | engineering.usu.edu

http://www.usu.edu 

Dr. Tadd Truscott | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>