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Water transfer and crack regimes in nano-colloidal gels

Abstract : Direct observations of the surface and shape of model nano-colloidal gels associated with measurements of the spatial distribution of water content during drying show that air starts to significantly penetrate the sample when the material stops shrinking. We show that whether the material fractures or not during desiccation, as air penetrates the porous body, the water saturation decreases but remains almost homogeneous throughout the sample. This air-invasion is at the origin of another type of fracture due to capillary effects; these results provide a new insight in the liquid dynamics at the nano-scale. PACS number(s): 47.56.+r, 68.03.Fg, 81.40.Np
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J Thiery, Stéphane Rodts, E Keita, Xavier Chateau, P Faure, et al.. Water transfer and crack regimes in nano-colloidal gels. Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 2015, 91 (4), pp.042407. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.91.042407⟩. ⟨hal-01223737⟩

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