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Taking control of flowing dense suspensions

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Many soft matter systems including sandpiles and suspensions share the property of fragility: due to their history-dependent microstructural conformation, they can sustain stresses more effectively in some directions than in others. By continually updating the direction of flow one might maintain structure-stress incompatibility, thus inhibiting the formation of load-bearing structures. Here we provide evidence for fragility of this kind in a generic suspension and demonstrate, indeed, that the viscosities of such materials are consequently susceptible to time-varying flows. We thus propose several approaches to achieving `online’ viscosity control in the processing of such materials.

This talk is part of the BPI Seminar Series series.

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