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Winding plastic films: Experimental study of squeeze film flow between one smooth surface and one "rough" surface

Boutaous, M.
Bourgin, P.
The present paper is concerned with experiments which consist in squeezing an air layer between a rigid, smooth surface and a flexible, rough one.
The experimental rig is composed of a smooth glass plate, with a circular slit allowing air aspiration to be done around it. A thin (few microns thick) plastic film is laid on the glass plate and air separating the glass and the film surfaces is removed by means of a vacuum pump. A circular front appears on the film surface, and moves towards the centre, as the film is pressed onto the glass plate.
A monochromatic lamp is used to insulate the surfaces from above and Newton rings can be observed as the front moves. The duration of this operation is measured by a chronometer.
Typically, the measured time depends on the plate diameter, the sub-ambient pressure exerted, the film flexural rigidity (or its thickness) and its surface roughness.
A set of experiments have been carried out for several values of the sub-ambient pressure and of the slit diameter.
The results are well reproducible: for a given sample, the characteristic time is proportional to the squared value of the diameter. The dependence on the sub-ambient pressure is more complicated. A simple model using a semi-empirical formulation is suggested on the basis of the experimental data.