The stability of a horizontal liquid bridge

My name is Matthew Haynes, I am a PhD student in MACSI in the University of Limerick.

My research investigates the stability of a horizontal liquid bridge. A horizontal liquid bridge is a volume of liquid suspended between two vertical walls. This suspensions is cause for a force balance between the surface tension and the body forces (gravity) of the liquid volume.

In essences the area of this research looks like it is something mathematicians do for the fun of it, without much (or even any) industrial background to the problem.

However, in this case it is different, this research is a simplification of an industrial problem, and while the simplification exists the results provided from this research are directly applicable to the original problem.

This industrial problem occurs during the ‘baking’ process of the manufacturing process of mesh stents. To produce a stent, a wire mesh is coated in a liquid polymer which is subsequently ‘baked’ to solidify the coating. However during this ‘baking’ process holes in the coating appear. This problem was first modelled by taking an arbitrarily oriented liquid bridge (not necessarily vertical or horizontal), however when a scaling analysis was performed, it became clear the all the pockets mirrored the stability of either the vertical or horizontal cases. The vertical case has been well documented, so we are left to examine the stability of horizontal liquid bridges to complete the model.

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