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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Sep 23;107(13):134503. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Heterogeneity and the role of normal stresses during the extensional thinning of non-Brownian shear-thickening fluids.

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544, USA.


We contrast the extensional and shear dynamics of non-Brownian suspensions as a function of particle concentration. We show that the thinning rate selected during the viscoelastic pinch-off of a liquid bridge is related to the shear rate at which normal stresses become positive, which differs from the shear rate at the onset of shear thickening. By tracking particles, we demonstrate that the extensional flow is heterogeneous, with local variations of the volume fraction consistent with self-dilution. This nonuniform structure is the cause of the buckling of the threads formed after breakup.

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