Virtual Rheological Analysis of Complex Shear Thickening Fluids

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BCAM principal investigator: Marco Ellero
BCAM research line(s) involved:
Reference: RTI2018-094595-B-I00
Coordinator: BCAM - Basque Center for Applied Mathematics
Duration: 2019 - 2021
Funding agency: MINECO - Projects R&D&i - Challenges 2018
Type: National Project
Status: Closed


Accurate prediction of the dynamics and mechanical properties of micro/nano-particle suspensions interacting with complex media and under complex micro-flow conditions is critical for many industrial processes. In the area of material manufacturing, the so-called shearthickening fluids (STFs) a concentrated suspension of colloidal particles with a differentiated liquid/solid- like response to applied stimuli have recently opened up a series of successful applications as selective dampers, such as a shock-absorber in the textile industry for ballistics, e.g. liquid armor, as well as for sporting protective clothing in automotive and aerospace sectors. Notwithstanding their practical importance, engineering of new complex STF-based materials with tailored properties has been significantly hampered by the limited fundamental knowledge on the physics behind shear-thickening and, in particular, by the lack of simulation techniques able to model them accurately. This project proposes a step- change in STF analysis by addressing fundamental and technical challenges. In particular, by using a novel generation of mesoscopic particle-based techniques, we will investigate the complex microscopic flow processes occurring in STFs to better understand and control their rheological properties under hitherto unexplored complex formulations, possibly leading to a paradigm shift in the current STF technology.

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