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The instabilities of a granular raft - Suzie Protière

Institut Jean le Rond d’Alembert CNRS/UPMC, Paris

Small objects trapped at an interface are very common in Nature (waterstriders, ant rafts, bubbles or pollen, membranes…). They also find an application in industrial processes since they can act as stabilizing agents for emulsions or foams. Their study is therefore of practical as well as fundamental importance. In this talk I will present experiments describing the behaviour of a monolayer of dense particles at an oil/water interface that we call a granular raft. In such system, the stability of the raft is governed by the interplay between gravitational and surface tension forces. Indeed when the number of particles in the raft is large enough the raft may become unstable and sink. Moreover wrinkles and folds are observed when they are compressed under their own weight which suggests that the raft displays elastic characteristics. I will first describe the stability of granular rafts and then show the buckling instability they undergo when they are compressed uniaxially.


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