Adhesive creases: bifurcation, morphology and their (apparent) self-similarity

Martin H. Essink, Michiel A.J. van Limbeek, Anupam Pandey, Stefan Karpitschka, Jacco H. Snoeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An elastic material that experiences strong compression parallel to its free surface can exhibit sharp surface folds. Such creases arise due to an instability where a self-contacting fold appears on the surface, often observed in growing tissues or swelling gels. Self-adhesion of the contact is known to affect the bifurcation behavior and morphology of these structures, yet a quantitative description remains elusive. From numerical simulations and an energy analysis we resolve how adhesion quantitatively affects both morphology and bifurcation behavior. It is found that a reduced energy is able to accurately describe the bifurcation, in terms of an effective scaling that collapses the data very well. The model accurately describes how adhesion hinders crease nucleation. Furthermore, we show that the free surface profiles in the presence of surface tension exhibit self-similarity, and can be collapsed onto a universal curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5160-5168
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jun 30 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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