Morphological instability of a non-equilibrium ice-colloid interface

S. S. L. Peppin, A. Majumdar, J. S. Wettlaufer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We assess the morphological stability of a non-equilibrium ice-colloidal suspension interface, and apply the theory to bentonite clay. An experimentally convenient scaling is employed that takes advantage of the vanishing segregation coefficient at low freezing velocities, and when anisotropic kinetic effects are included, the interface is shown to be unstable to travelling waves. The potential for travelling-wave modes reveals a possible mechanism for the polygonal and spiral ice lenses observed in frozen clays. A weakly nonlinear analysis yields a long-wave evolution equation for the interface shape containing a new parameter related to the highly nonlinear liquidus curve in colloidal systems. We discuss the implications of these results for the frost susceptibility of soils and the fabrication of microtailored porous materials. © 2009 The Royal Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2113
StatePublished - Oct 2 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Award no. KUK-C1-013-04, by the US National Science Foundation (0PP0440841) and by the Department of Energy (DE-FG02-05ER15741). J. S. W. is grateful for support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Royal Institute of Technology and NORDITA, all in Stockholm.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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