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Nat Mater. 2010 Mar;9(3):220-4. doi: 10.1038/nmat2627. Epub 2010 Jan 31.

Generality of shear thickening in dense suspensions.

Abstract

Suspensions are of wide interest and form the basis for many smart fluids. For most suspensions, the viscosity decreases with increasing shear rate, that is, they shear thin. Few are reported to do the opposite, that is, shear thicken, despite the longstanding expectation that shear thickening is a generic type of suspension behaviour. Here we resolve this apparent contradiction. We demonstrate that shear thickening can be masked by a yield stress and can be recovered when the yield stress is decreased below a threshold. We show the generality of this argument and quantify the threshold in rheology experiments where we control yield stresses arising from a variety of sources, such as attractions from particle surface interactions, induced dipoles from applied electric and magnetic fields, as well as confinement of hard particles at high packing fractions. These findings open up possibilities for the design of smart suspensions that combine shear thickening with electro- or magnetorheological response.

PMID:
20118945
[PubMed]

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