The curling of ribbons via sharp blades

Dr. Christopher Prior (University of Durham)

Thursday 11th February, 2016 14:00-15:00 Maths 203


The procedure of curling a ribbon by running it over a sharp blade is commonly used in wrapping presents. We examine this phenomenon using experiment and theory, investigating the dependence of ribbon curvature on blade curvature, the longitudinal load imposed on the ribbon and the speed of pulling. A surprising experimental finding was the non-monotonic relationship between the applied load, which forces the ribbon to curl around the blade, and the resulting radius of coiling. We develop a model which identifies this non-monotonicity as a self-limiting effect of the relaxation of the ribbon.

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