TeraScale Shear Flow Challenge

Project Details


This project aimed to investigate the properties of two types of non-equilibrium complex fluid system using computer simulation. First, two-component mixtures under shear were examined, and second, nucleation of the crystal structures in liquid crystal systems.

Layman's description

Many liquids have important every-day and industrial uses, and it is important to know how they flow. The most simple example is water. However, there are a class of more complex fluids, such as mixtures and liquid crystals, which are also important to understand. This project used computer simulation to try to understand some of the fundamental properties of these complex fluids.

Key findings

There were two key findings. First, we showed that mixtures in shear flow behave differently depending on the strength of the shear. Two regimes were characterised: one in which flow was laminar and mixing suppressed and another in which was turbulent with significant mixing. For liquid crystals, a major surprise was the observation that a small crystal did not grow as expected, but gave rise to a very complicated structure.
Effective start/end date1/04/0831/05/09


  • EPSRC: £3,290.00