Rheology of cubic particles suspended in a Newtonian fluid†
Many real-world industrial processes involve non-spherical particles suspended in a fluid medium. Knowledge of the flow behavior of these suspensions is essential for optimizing their transport properties and designing processing equipment. In the present work, we explore and report on the rheology of concentrated suspensions of cubic-shaped colloidal particles under steady and dynamic shear flow. These suspensions exhibit a rich non-Newtonian rheology that includes shear thickening and normal stress differences at high shear stresses. Scalings are proposed to connect the material properties of these suspensions of cubic particle to those measured for suspensions of spherical particles. Negative first normal stress differences indicate that lubrication hydrodynamic forces dominate the stress in the shear-thickened state. Accounting for the increased lubrication hydrodynamic interactions between the flat surfaces of the cubic particles allows for a quantitative comparison of the deviatoric stress in the shear-thickened state to that of spherical particles. New semi-empirical models for the viscosity and normal stress difference coefficients are presented for the shear-thickened state. The results of this study indicate that cubic particles offer new and unique opportunities to formulate colloidal dispersions for field-responsive materials.