Elasticity of liquid marbles
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Liquid marbles are liquid droplets covered densely with small particles. They exhibit hydrophobic properties even on hydrophilic surfaces and this behaviour is closely related to the Cassie wetting state and the phenomenon of superhydrophobicity. Typical liquid marbles are of millimetre size but their properties are analogous to smaller capsules and droplets of Pickering emulsions. We study water marbles covered with an uneven multilayer of polyethylene particles. Their elastic properties were assessed under quasi-static conditions. The liquid marbles are highly elastic and can sustain a reversible deformation of up to 30%. The spring constant is of the same order of magnitude as that for bare water droplets. Therefore the elasticity of the liquid marble is provided mainly by the liquid menisci between the particles. Upon further compression, the spring constant increases up to the point of breakage. This increase may be due to capillary attraction acting across the emerging cracks in the particle coating. The stress-strain curve for liquid marbles is similar to that obtained with liquid-filled microcapsules. A mechanical scaling description proposed for capsules is qualitatively applicable for liquid marbles. The exact mechanical role of the multilayer particle network remains elusive.
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