Simulating the rheology of dense suspensions using pairwise formulation of contact, lubrication and Brownian forces

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Abstract / Description of output

Dense suspensions of solid particles in viscous liquid are ubiquitous in both industry and nature, and there is a clear need for efficient numerical routines to simulate their rheology and microstructure. Particles of micron size present a particular challenge: at low shear rates colloidal interactions control their dynamics while at high rates granular-like contacts dominate. While there are established particle-based simulation schemes for large-scale non-Brownian suspensions using only pairwise lubrication and contact forces, common schemes for colloidal suspensions generally are more computationally costly and thus restricted to relatively small system sizes. Here we present a minimal particle-based numerical model for dense colloidal suspensions that incorporates Brownian forces in pairwise form alongside contact and lubrication forces. We show that this scheme reproduces key features of dense suspension rheology near the collodial-to-granular transition, including both shear-thinning due to entropic forces at low rates and shear thickening at high rate due to contact formation. This scheme is implemented in LAMMPS, a widely-used open source code for parallelized particle-based simulations, with a runtime that scales linearly with the number of particles making it amenable for large-scale simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Feb 2024

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