Bouncing gel balls: Impact of soft gels onto rigid surface

Y. Tanaka*, Y. Yamazaki, K. Okumura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


After being thrown onto a solid substrate, very soft spherical gels bounce repeatedly. Separate rheological measurements suggest that these balls can be treated as nearly elastic. The Hertz contact deformation expected in the static (elastic) limit was observed only at very small impact velocities. For larger velocities, the gel ball deformed into flattened forms like a pancake. We measured the size of the gel balls at the maximal deformation and the contact time as a function of velocities for samples different in the original spherical radius and the Young modulus. The experimental results revealed a number of scaling relations. To interpret these relations, we developed scaling arguments to propose a physical picture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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