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Competing Time Scales Lead to Oscillations in Shear-Thickening Suspensions

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2019


Competing time scales generate novelty. Here, we show that a coupling between the time scales imposed by instrument inertia and the formation of inter-particle frictional contacts in shear-thickening suspensions leads to highly asymmetric shear-rate oscillations. Experiments tuning the presence of oscillations by varying the two time-scales validate 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.

    Research areas

  • cond-mat.soft

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