The rheology of concentrated suspensions of particles is complex and typically exhibits a shear-thickening behavior in the case of repulsive interactions. Despite the recent interest arisen, the causes of the shear-thickening remain unclear. Frictional contacts have been able to explain the discontinuous shear thickening in simulations. However, the interparticle friction coefficient is considered to be constant in most simulations and theoretical works reported to date despite the fact that tribological experiments demonstrate that the friction coefficient can not only be constant (boundary regime) but also decrease (mixed regime) or even increase (full-film lubrication regime), depending on the normal force and the relative velocity between the particles and the interstitial liquid between them. Interestingly, the transition between the boundary regime and the full-lubrication regime is governed by the particle average roughness. Particle-level simulations of suspensions of hard spheres were carried out using short-range lubrication and roughness-dependent frictional forces describing the full Stribeck curve. Suspensions with different particle’s roughness were simulated to show that the particle roughness is a key factor in the shear-thickening behavior; for sufficiently rough particles, the suspension exhibits a remarkable shear-thickening, while for sufficiently smooth particles, the discontinuous shear-thickening disappears.

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