Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Multiscale modeling of membrane rearrangement, drainage, and rupture in evolving foams
- Author(s): Saye, RI
- Sethian, JA
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1126/science.1230623
Modeling the physics of foams and foamlike materials, such as soapy froths, fire retardants, and lightweight crash-absorbent structures, presents challenges, because of the vastly different time and space scales involved. By separating and coupling these disparate scales, we have designed a multiscale framework to model dry foam dynamics. This leads to a predictive and flexible computational methodology linking, with a few simplifying assumptions, foam drainage, rupture, and topological rearrangement, to coupled interface-fluid motion under surface tension, gravity, and incompressible fluid dynamics. Our computed results match theoretical analyses and experimentally observed physical effects, including thin-film drainage and interference, and are used to study bubble rupture cascades and macroscopic rearrangement. The developed multiscale model allows quantitative computation of complex foam evolution phenomena.