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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Nov 22;111(21):218301. Epub 2013 Nov 18.

Discontinuous shear thickening of frictional hard-sphere suspensions.

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Benjamin Levich Institute, City College of New York, New York, New York 10031, USA.


Discontinuous shear thickening (DST) observed in many dense athermal suspensions has proven difficult to understand and to reproduce by numerical simulation. By introducing a numerical scheme including both relevant hydrodynamic interactions and granularlike contacts, we show that contact friction is essential for having DST. Above a critical volume fraction, we observe the existence of two states: a low viscosity, contactless (hence, frictionless) state, and a high viscosity frictional shear jammed state. These two states are separated by a critical shear stress, associated with a critical shear rate where DST occurs. The shear jammed state is reminiscent of the jamming phase of granular matter. Continuous shear thickening is seen as a lower volume fraction vestige of the jamming transition.

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