Intrinsic nonlinearities in the mechanics of hard sphere suspensions†
The onset of nonlinear responses in near hard sphere suspensions is characterized as a function of oscillatory frequency and strain amplitude. At low frequencies where the viscous behavior dominates, the onset of nonlinearities is driven by increases in rate of strain. At high deformation frequency, where suspension mechanics is dominated by an elastic response, the nonlinear responses occur when deformation exceeds a characteristic strain. This strain is associated with the transient confinement of particles by nearest neighbors and its volume fraction dependence is through cage parameters derived from the high frequency elastic modulus. The onset of nonlinear responses takes on a universal behavior when deformation frequency is normalized by the characteristic time governing the shift from viscous to elastic behavior indicating that this transition is associated with transient particle localization and is expected to be observed for all volume fractions where pair interactions are important.