Tunable Shear Thickening in Suspensions

Condensed Matter journal club

Tunable Shear Thickening in Suspensions

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 21st October 2016
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details


When a concentrated suspension is strained, its viscosity can increase radically. This behavior, known as shear thickening, can be very useful to technological applications or highly problematic in industrial processes. Suspension flow properties are typically specified at the formulation stage, meaning that they are fixed in advance rather than controlled in situ during application. Here, we report a biaxial shear strategy eradicating the flow-induced structures responsible for thickening and tuning the suspension viscosity on demand during flow. This protocol enables us to regulate the thickening viscosity over 2 orders of magnitude. The tuning capability is a foundational step toward using dense suspensions in 3D printing, energy storage, and robotics.
PNAS 113 pages 10774-10778 (2016)
pdf version


Neil Y.C. Lin, Christopher Ness, Michael E. Cates, Jin Sun, Itai Cohen