Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 16, 2009
Previous Article Next Article

Shear-induced fragmentation of laponite suspensions

Author affiliations


Simultaneous rheological and velocity profile measurements are performed in a smooth Couette geometry on laponite suspensions seeded with glass microspheres and undergoing the shear-induced solid-to-fluid (or yielding) transition. Under these slippery boundary conditions, a rich temporal behaviour is uncovered, in which shear localization is observed at short times, which rapidly gives way to a highly heterogeneous flow, characterized by intermittent switching from plug-like flow to linear velocity profiles. Such a temporal behaviour is linked to the fragmentation of the initially solid sample into blocks separated by fluidized regions. These solid pieces get progressively eroded over timescales ranging from a few minutes to several hours depending on the applied shear rate [small gamma, Greek, dot above]. The steady-state is characterized by a homogeneous flow with almost negligible wall slip. The characteristic timescale for erosion is shown to diverge below some critical shear rate [small gamma, Greek, dot above]* and to scale as ([small gamma, Greek, dot above][small gamma, Greek, dot above]*)n with n ≃ 2 above [small gamma, Greek, dot above]*. A tentative model for erosion is discussed together with open questions raised by the present results.

Graphical abstract: Shear-induced fragmentation of laponite suspensions

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 31 Mar 2009, accepted on 02 Jun 2009 and first published on 01 Jul 2009

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B906274B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2009,5, 3026-3037
  •   Request permissions

    Shear-induced fragmentation of laponite suspensions

    T. Gibaud, C. Barentin, N. Taberlet and S. Manneville, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 3026
    DOI: 10.1039/B906274B

Search articles by author