Shear thickening in a model colloidal suspension

Delhommelle, Jerome; Petravic, J.
August 2005
Journal of Chemical Physics;8/15/2005, Vol. 123 Issue 7, p074708
Academic Journal
We study the rheology of model colloidal suspensions using molecular-dynamics simulations. We relate the onset of shear thickening to the transition from a low-viscosity regime, in which the solvent facilitates the flow of colloids, to a high-viscosity regime associated with jamming of the colloids and the formation of chains of colloids. In the low-viscosity regime, the colloidal particles are, on average, surrounded by two layers of solvent particles. On the contrary, in the high-viscosity regime, the solvent is expelled from the interstice between the jammed colloids. The thickening in suspensions is shown to obey the same criterion as in simple fluids. This demonstrates that jamming, even without the divergence of lubrication interactions, is sufficient to observe shear thickening.


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