Rearrangements and plasticity in two-dimensional sheared foams

Two-dimensional foam under a pure shear deformation.
Top view of our setup, illustrating application of a pure shear deformation to a two-dimensional packing of foam bubbles.

Bubbles under a glass plate, with two different sizes.
Side view of our setup, illustrating the single layer of bubbles. The packing is bi-disperse, with 3.2 mm and 4.2 mm diameter bubbles.

In collaboration with Vera Janssen, Alexander Siemens and Martin van Hecke

We experimentally apply a slow pure shear deformation to a quasi-two-dimensional foam under glass-liquid boundary conditions:

Most research has focussed the behavior of dense systems, such as Lennard-Jones glasses [1,2,3] and densely packed foams [1,4,5,6]. We have focussed on varying the packing density, and compare the behavior of wet foams, near the jamming transition, to that of dry foams.

The behaviour close to jamming is qualitatively very different from that of dense systems: While localized T1 events dominate the behavior of dry foams, for wetter foams the rearrangements become less localized and events lose their quadrupolar nature. We quantify the response using the temporal and spatial structure of rearrangements, as well as by measuring the onset of plasticity and irreversibility.

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