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Understanding and predicting viscous, elastic, plastic flows

Abstract : Foams, gels, emulsions, polymer solutions, pastes and even cell assemblies display both liquid and solid mechanical properties. On a local scale, such "soft glassy" systems are disordered assemblies of deformable rearranging units, the complexity of which gives rise to their striking flow behavior. On a global scale, experiments show that their mechanical behavior depends on the orientation of their elastic deformation with respect to the flow direction, thus requiring a description by tensorial equations for continuous materials. However, due to their strong non-linearities, the numerous candidate models have not yet been solved in a general multidimensional geometry to provide stringent tests of their validity. We compute the first solutions of a continuous model for a discriminant benchmark, namely the flow around an obstacle. We compare it with experiments of a foam flow and find an excellent agreement with the spatial distribution of all important features: we accurately predict the experimental fields of velocity, elastic deformation, and plastic deformation rate in terms of magnitude, direction, and anisotropy. We analyze the role of each parameter, and demonstrate that the yield strain is the main dimensionless parameter required to characterize the materials. We evidence the dominant effect of elasticity, which explains why the stress does not depend simply on the shear rate. Our results demonstrate that the behavior of soft glassy materials cannot be reduced to an intermediate between that of a solid and that of a liquid: the viscous, the elastic and the plastic contributions to the flow, as well as their couplings, must be treated simultaneously. Our approach opens the way to the realistic multidimensional prediction of complex flows encountered in geophysical, industrial and biological applications, and to the understanding of the link between structure and rheology of soft glassy systems.
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Contributor : Pierre Saramito Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, February 14, 2011 - 4:04:07 PM
Last modification on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 11:42:28 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 1:51:07 PM

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Ibrahim Cheddadi, Pierre Saramito, Benjamin Dollet, Christophe Raufaste, François Graner. Understanding and predicting viscous, elastic, plastic flows. European Physical Journal E: Soft matter and biological physics, EDP Sciences: EPJ, 2011, 34 (1), pp.1:1-15. ⟨10.1140/epje/i2011-11001-4⟩. ⟨hal-00565805⟩

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