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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 155
  • June 1985, pp. 105-129

The rheology of concentrated suspensions of spheres in simple shear flow by numerical simulation

  • John F. Brady (a1) and Georges Bossis (a2)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022112085001732
  • Published online: 01 April 2006
Abstract

The newly developed simulation method known as Stokesian dynamics is used to investigate the rheological behaviour of concentrated suspensions. Both the detailed microstructure (e.g. pair-distribution function) and the macroscopic properties are determined for a suspension of identical rigid spherical particles in a simple shear flow. The suspended particles interact through both hydrodynamic and non-hydrodynamic forces. For suspensions with purely hydrodynamic forces, the increase in the suspension viscosity with volume fraction ϕ is shown to be caused by particle clustering. The cluster formation results from the lubrication forces, and the simulations of a monolayer of spheres show a scaling law for the cluster size: lc ∼ [1 − (ϕ/ϕm)½]−1, where ϕm is the maximum volume fraction that can shear homogeneously. The simulation results suggest that the suspension viscosity becomes infinite at the percolation-like threshold ϕm owing to the formation of an infinite cluster. The predicted simulation viscosities are in very good agreement with experiment. A suspension with short-range repulsive interparticle forces is also studied, and is seen to have a non-Newtonian rheology. Normal-stress differences arise owing to the anisotropic local structure created by the interparticle forces. The repulsive forces also reduce particle clustering, and as a result the suspension is shear-thickening.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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