Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 December 2013
The migration of a capsule enclosed by an elastic membrane in a wall-bounded linear shear is investigated using a front-tracking method. A detailed comparison with the migration of a viscous drop is presented varying the capillary number (in the case of a capsule, the elastic capillary number) and the viscosity ratio. In both cases, the deformation breaks the flow reversal symmetry and makes them migrate away from the wall. They quickly go through a transient evolution to eventually reach a quasi-steady state where the dynamics becomes independent of the initial position and only depends on the wall distance. Previous analytical theories predicted that for a viscous drop, in the quasi-steady state, the migration and slip velocities scale approximately with the square of the inverse of the drop–wall separation, whereas the drop deformation scales as the inverse cube of the separation. These power law relations are shown to hold for a capsule as well. The deformation and inclination angle of the capsule and the drop at the same wall separation show a crossover in their variation with the capillary number: the capsule shows a steeper variation than that of the drop for smaller capillary numbers and slower variation than the drop for larger capillary numbers. Using the Green’s function of Stokes flow, a semi-analytic theory is presented to show that the far-field stresslet that causes the migration has two distinct contributions from the interfacial stresses and the viscosity ratio, with competing effects between the two defining the dynamics. It predicts the scaling of the migration velocity with the capsule–wall separation, however, matching with the simulated result very well only away from the wall. A phenomenological correlation for the migration velocity as a function of elastic capillary number, wall distance and viscosity ratio is developed using the simulation results. The effects of different membrane hyperelastic constitutive equations – neo-Hookean, Evans–Skalak, and Skalak – are briefly investigated to show that the behaviour remains similar for different equations.
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