Meital Carmi

Mechanical Engineering

Shear Flows of Dense Suspensions

We are researching the behavior of a dense suspension of particles experiencing a shear force. Understanding this fluid behavior has a wide variety of applications, including rivers and canals with large amounts of sediment and debris. Controlling these flows can prevent flooding and jamming, and increase the efficiency of such systems. In dense suspensions, a very small increase in the shear force often causes the viscosity of the mixture to increase abruptly. This effect, called discontinuous shear thickening (DST), occurs only in flows with a large amount of suspended particles. This suggests that DST is caused by some element of the particles’ behavior, particularly their spatial distribution, clustering, and mixing. We use numerical simulations to model the flow of a dense suspension when a shear force is applied. We then apply the Voronoi tessellation to perform a statistical analysis, quantitatively measuring the particles’ clustering and mixing behavior.

UC Santa Barbara Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships UCSB California NanoSystems Institute UC Santa Barbara’s Parents Fund Campaign for UC Santa Barbara