Microstructure of sheared monosized colloidal suspensions resulting from hydrodynamic and electrostatic interactions

Hydrodynamic and near-particle interactions in sheared suspensions are communicated through suspension microstructure to produce a wide variety of rheological behaviors. To characterize this microstructure, the individual positions of monosized silica particles flowing through a microchannel are obtained with near simulation-level detail. The pair distribution functions of the microstructure at moderate to high Pclet number shear rates are very similar to previous numerical studies. Viscometric functions calculated based on the detailed microstructure obtained through this technique show qualitative agreement with computational results. These results elucidate the origins of shear-thickening of suspensions at high shear rates. While efforts are taken to screen electrostatic interactions to study hydrodynamic and Brownian interactions, the role of electrostatic interaction between particles is also investigated by reducing suspension ionic strength. These non-hydrodynamic electrostatic interactions result in a loss of anisotropy that generally agrees with previous findings of soft particle systems.

Xu, Bu, James F. Gilchrist

The Journal of Chemical Physics





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