Despite growing interest in the focusing and manipulation of particles in non-Newtonian fluids in confined flows, the combined effect of viscoelastic and shear-thinning effects on particle dynamics is not well understood. Herein, we report the dynamics of rigid microparticles in confined flows of strongly shear-thinning viscoelastic (STVE) fluids at very low Reynolds numbers. Our experiments with different STVE fluids reveal five different regimes: original streamline, bimodal, center migration, defocusing, and wall migration (WM), depending upon the fluid properties and flow rates. It is found that the occurrence of the different regimes depends on the STVE parameter and average strain rate (). We find that the dynamics of particles in the different regimes is underpinned by the synergy between viscoelastic lift force () and shear-thinning lift force (). Numerical simulation results of strain rate and viscosity profiles at different and enable estimation of the forces and explaining the dynamics observed. We expect that our study will find relevance in applications involving positioning and manipulation of particles in confined flows of STVE fluids.
Dynamics of rigid particles in a confined flow of viscoelastic and strongly shear-thinning fluid at very small Reynolds numbers
S. Hazra, A. Nath, S. K. Mitra, A. K. Sen; Dynamics of rigid particles in a confined flow of viscoelastic and strongly shear-thinning fluid at very small Reynolds numbers. Physics of Fluids 1 May 2021; 33 (5): 052001. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0046729
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