Competing Timescales Lead to Oscillations in Shear-Thickening Suspensions

  • John Royer (Creator)
  • Benno Liebchen (Creator)
  • Wilson Poon (Creator)
  • Ben Guy (Creator)
  • James Richards (Creator)



Competing timescales generate novelty. Here, we show that a coupling between the timescales imposed
by instrument inertia and the formation of interparticle frictional contacts in shear-thickening suspensions
leads to highly asymmetric shear-rate oscillations. Experiments tuning the presence of oscillations by
varying the two timescales support our model. The observed oscillations give access to a shear-jamming
portion of the flow curve that is forbidden in conventional rheometry. Moreover, the oscillation frequency
allows us to quantify an intrinsic relaxation time for particle contacts. The coupling of fast contact network
dynamics to a slower system variable should be generic to many other areas of dense suspension flow, with
instrument inertia providing a paradigmatic example. For further information see the related pre-print: Richards, J. A., et al. "Competing Time Scales Lead to Oscillations in Shear-Thickening Suspensions." arXiv preprint arXiv:1902.07655 (2019).

Data Citation

Richards, James A; Royer, John R; Liebchen, Benno; Guy, Ben M; Poon, Wilson CK. (2019). Competing Timescales Lead to Oscillations in Shear-Thickening Suspensions, [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. School of Physics. Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems.
Date made available18 Jun 2019
PublisherEdinburgh DataShare

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