Spontaneous instabilities and stick-slip motion in a generalized Hébraud–Lequeux model
We revisit the Hébraud–Lequeux (HL) model for the rheology of jammed materials and argue that a possibly important time scale is missing from HL's initial specification. We show that our generalization of the HL model undergoes interesting oscillating instabilities for a wide range of parameters, which lead to intermittent, stick-slip flows under constant shear rate. The instability we find is akin to the synchronization transition of coupled elements that arises in many different contexts (neurons, fireflies, financial bankruptcies, etc.). We hope that our scenario could shed light on the commonly observed intermittent, serrated flows of glassy materials under shear.