, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 1221–1237 | Cite as

Three-dimensional dynamic simulation of elastocapillarity

  • Jesus BuenoEmail author
  • Hugo Casquero
  • Yuri Bazilevs
  • Hector Gomez
Novel Computational Approaches to Old and New Problems in Mechanics


At small scales, the interaction of multicomponent fluids and solids can be dominated by capillary forces giving rise to elastocapillarity. Surface tension may deform or even collapse slender structures and thus, cause important damage in microelectromechanical systems. However, under control, elastocapillarity could be used as a fabrication technique for the design of new materials and structures. Here, we propose a computational model for elastocapillarity that couples nonlinear hyperelastic solids with two-component immiscible fluids described by the Navier–Stokes–Cahn–Hilliard equations. As fluid–structure interaction computational technique, we employ a boundary-fitted approach. For the spatial discretization of the problem we adopt a NURBS-based isogeometric analysis methodology. A strongly-coupled algorithm is proposed for the solution of the problem. The potential of this model is illustrated by solving several numerical examples, including, capillary origami, the static wetting of soft substrates, the deformation of micropillars and the three dimensional wrapping of a liquid droplet.


Elastocapillarity Fluid–structure interaction (FSI) Navier–Stokes–Cahn–Hilliard (NSCH) equations Isogeometric analysis (IGA) Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian (ALE) description 



The authors would like to thank Robert Style for the experimental data used in Fig. 4.


HG and HC were partially supported by the European Research Council through the FP7 Ideas Starting Grant Program (Contract #307201). HG and JB were partially supported by Xunta de Galicia, co-financed with FEDER funds. YB was supported by AFOSR Grant No. FA9550-16-1-0131.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesus Bueno
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hugo Casquero
    • 1
  • Yuri Bazilevs
    • 2
  • Hector Gomez
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Métodos Matemáticos e de RepresentaciónUniversidade da CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Structural EngineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.School of Mechanical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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