Understanding the Shear-thickening phenomenon

Shear-thickening refers to the phenomenon where the viscosity of the liquid increases with shear. A familiar example is that of corn-starch in water, wherein the liquid can thicken to such an extent that it can even support the weight of person. While shear-thickening has been observed in some fluids and can lead to serious processing difficulties, the exact mechanism responsible for the thickening is not clear. The proposed project will investigate the role of interparticle forces and hydrodynamic interactions to understand this phenomenon. The project will involve experiments, theory and simulations.

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Colloids
  • Rheology