|Microstructural Rearrangements and Their Rheological Implications in a Model Thixotropic Elastoviscoplastic Fluid
|Year of Publication
|Jamali S., McKinley G.H, Armstrong R.C
|Physical Review Letters
We identify the sequence of microstructural changes that characterize the evolution of an attractive particulate gel under flow and discuss their implications on macroscopic rheology. Dissipative particle dynamics is used to monitor shear-driven evolution of a fabric tensor constructed from the ensemble spatial configuration of individual attractive constituents within the gel. By decomposing this tensor into isotropic and nonisotropic components we show that the average coordination number correlates directly with the flow curve of the shear stress versus shear rate, consistent with theoretical predictions for attractive systems. We show that the evolution in nonisotropic local particle rearrangements are primarily responsible for stress overshoots (strain-hardening) at the inception of steady shear flow and also lead, at larger times and longer scales, to microstructural localization phenomena such as shear banding flow-induced structure formation in the vorticity direction.