The starting point for the mathematical modeling was the equations presented in [1] for a glass fiber with a hole undergoing extensional flow. These equations were reconsidered here with the additional reduction that the hole, i.e. the gas bubble, was thin as compared to the radius of the fiber and of finite extent. The primary model considered was one in which the mass of the gas inside the bubble was fixed. This fixed-mass model involved equations for the axial velocity and fiber radius, and equations for the radius of the bubble and the gas pressure inside the bubble. The model equations assumed that the temperature of the furnace of the drawing tower was known.

The governing equations of the bubble are hyperbolic and predict that the bubble cannot extend beyond the limiting characteristics specified by the ends of the initial bubble shape. An analysis of pinch-off was performed, and it was found that pinch-off can occur, depending on the parameters of the model, due to surface tension when the bubble radius is small.

In order to determine the evolution of a bubble, a numerical method of solution was presented. The method was used to study the evolution of two different initial bubble shapes, one convex and the other non-convex. Both initial bubble shapes had fore-aft symmetry, and it was found that the bubbles stretched and elongated severely during the drawing process. For the convex shape, fore-aft symmetry was lost in the middle of the drawing process, but the symmetry was re-gained by the end of the drawing tower. A small amount of pinch-off was observed at each end for this case, so that the final bubble length was slightly shorter than its theoretical maximum length. For the non-convex initial shape, pinch-off occurred in the middle of the bubble resulting in two bubbles by the end of the fiber draw.

The two bubbles had different final pressures and did not have fore-aft symmetry.

An extension of the fixed-mass model was considered in which the gas in the bubble was allowed to diffuse into the surrounding glass. The governing equations for this leaky-mass model were developed and manipulated into a form suitable for a numerical treatment.