Coupled dynamics of flow, microstructure, and conductivity in sheared suspensions
We propose a model for the evolution of the conductivity tensor for a flowing suspension of electrically conductive particles. We use discrete particle numerical simulations together with a continuum physical framework to construct an evolution law for the suspension microstructure during flow. This model is then coupled with a relationship between the microstructure and the electrical conductivity tensor. Certain parameters of the joint model are fit experimentally using rheo-electrical conductivity measurements of carbon black suspensions under flow over a range of shear rates. The model is applied to the case of steady shearing as well as time-varying conductivity of unsteady flow experiments. We find that the model prediction agrees closely with the measured experimental data in all cases.