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Issue 16, 2009
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Shear-induced fragmentation of laponite suspensions

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Abstract

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

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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
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    Shear-induced fragmentation of laponite suspensions

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

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