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Issue 2, 2018
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Shear thickening in concentrated suspensions of smooth spheres in Newtonian suspending fluids

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Abstract

Shear thickening is a phenomenon in which the viscosity of a suspension increases with increasing stress or shear rate, sometimes in a discontinuous fashion. While the phenomenon, when observed in suspensions of corn starch in water, or Oobleck, is popular as a science experiment for children, shear thickening is actually of considerable importance for technological applications and exhibited by far simpler systems. Concentrated suspensions of smooth hard spheres will exhibit shear thickening, and understanding this behavior has required a fundamental change in the paradigm of describing low-Reynolds-number solid–fluid flows, in which contact forces have traditionally been absent. Here, we provide an overview of our understanding of shear thickening and the methods that have been developed to describe it, as well as outstanding questions.

Graphical abstract: Shear thickening in concentrated suspensions of smooth spheres in Newtonian suspending fluids

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Article information


Submitted
18 Apr 2017
Accepted
03 Dec 2017
First published
04 Dec 2017

Soft Matter, 2018,14, 170-184
Article type
Review Article

Shear thickening in concentrated suspensions of smooth spheres in Newtonian suspending fluids

M. M. Denn, J. F. Morris and D. Bonn, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 170
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00761B

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