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Nucleation of bubbles in elastomers

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In the 1950s, Epstein & Plesset proposed a model - which has since become very classic - on the dynamics of growth or bubble dissolution within ideal liquid solutions. It is this model that describes the appearance of bubbles in liquids supersaturated with gas as commonly observed following a pressure variation.

The question of bubble nucleation in more complex materials such as transparent elastomers is also motivated by observations of everyday life : undesirable bubbles can appear as a result of temperature variations in elastomers such as PDMS used for microfluidic circuits or in adhesive layers used to protect surfaces such as those of photovoltaic cells.
An experimental set-up allowing to observe the appearance of bubbles in transparent elastomers under different temperatures and pressures has been developed at LIPhy. In addition to their astonishing shapes (see figure 1), under certain conditions, preliminary observations have shown non-monotonic variations in bubble radius over time. It remains to be understood whether this is due to the rheology of the material or to the capacity of the elastomer to store gases of different natures. This is the purpose of this experimental stage for which interactions with our industrial partners will take place regularly.

Contact :
Elise Lorenceau (