Peeling and the growth of blisters

17 May 2018
Professor John Lister

The peeling of an elastic sheet away from thin layer of viscous fluid is a simply-stated and generic problem, that involves complex interactions between flow and elastic deformation on a range of length scales. 

I will illustrate the possibilities by considering theoretically and experimentally the injection and spread of viscous fluid beneath a flexible elastic lid; the injected fluid forms a blister, which spreads by peeling the lid away at the  perimeter of the blister. Among the many questions to be considered are the mechanisms for relieving the elastic analogue of the contact-line problem, whether peeling is "by bending" or "by pulling", the stability of the peeling front, and the effects of a capillary meniscus when peeling is by air injection. The result is a plethora of dynamical regimes and asymptotic scaling laws.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar