Bendotaxis of Wetting and Non-wetting drops

23 November 2017
Alexander Bradley

It is thought that the hairy legs of water walking arthropods are able to remain clean and dry because the flexibility of the hairs spontaneously moves drops off the hairs. We present a mathematical model of this bending-induced motion, or bendotaxis, and study how it performs for wetting and non-wetting drops. Crucially, we show that both wetting and non-wetting droplets move in the same direction (using physical arguments and numerical solutions). This suggests that a surface covered in elastic filaments (such as the hairy leg of insects) may be able to universally self-clean. To quantify the efficiency of this effect, we explore the conditions under which drops leave the structure by ‘spreading’ rather than translating and also how long it takes to do so.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar