Volume 85, Number 2, January 2009
Article Number 24002
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 22 January 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 24002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/24002

Energy distributions and effective temperatures in the packing of elastic sheets

S. Deboeuf, M. Adda-Bedia and A. Boudaoud

Laboratoire de Physique Statistique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS UMR 8550 - 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France, EU

received 21 July 2008; accepted in final form 15 December 2008; published January 2009
published online 22 January 2009

The packing of elastic sheets is investigated in a quasi two-dimensional experimental setup: a sheet is pulled through a rigid hole acting as a container, so that its configuration is mostly prescribed by the cross-section of the sheet in the plane of the hole. The characterisation of the packed configuration is made possible by using refined image analysis. The geometrical properties and energies of the branches forming the cross-section are broadly distributed. We find distributions of energy with exponential tails. This setup naturally divides the system into two sub-systems: in contact with the container and within the bulk. While the geometrical properties of the sub-systems differ, their energy distributions are identical, indicating “thermal” homogeneity and allowing the definition of effective temperatures from the characteristic scales of the energy distributions.

46.32.+x - Continuum mechanics of solids: Static buckling and instability.
46.65.+g - Continuum mechanics of solids: Random phenomena and media.
64.70.qd - Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

© EPLA 2009