Volume 77, Number 4, February 2007
Article Number 40003
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 09 February 2007
EPL, 77 (2007) 40003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/77/40003

Persistence of a pinch in a pipe

L. Mahadevan, A. Vaziri and M. Das

Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University - Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

received 1 July 2006; accepted in final form 14 December 2006; published February 2007
published online 9 February 2007

The response of low-dimensional solid objects combines geometry and physics in unusual ways, exemplified in structures of great utility such as a thin-walled tube that is ubiquitous in nature and technology. Here we provide a consequence of this confluence of geometry and physics in tubular structures: our analysis shows that the persistence of a localized pinch in an elastic pipe whose effect decays as an oscillatory exponential with a persistence length that diverges as the thickness of the tube vanishes, which we confirm using simulations and simple experiments. The result is more a consequence of geometry than material properties, and is thus equally applicable to carbon nanotubes as it is to oil pipelines.

02.40.Yy - Geometric mechanics.
46.05.+b - General theory of continuum mechanics of solids.
46.70.De - Beams, plates and shells.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007