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Rheology of Dense Particulate Suspensions

Project Description

Dense particulate suspensions are increasingly encountered as engineers and formulators seek to reduce liquid content in suspensions. As particles become confined by their neighbors, particle mobility is increasingly restricted and can result in suspension jamming and the formation of a voluminous 3D-network which must be broken to initiate flow. Achieving ease of flow in dense particulate suspensions is challenging with particle-particle interactions, particle shape and fluid dynamics all contributing to the critical condition at which these behaviors (jamming and yield stress) are observed, with certain systems exhibiting high yield stresses at just a few solids vol. %. For sufficiently small particles (colloids), particle interactions can be manipulated by controlling the bulk fluid chemistry, however, this is not always an option so additives, typically short chain organic molecules, are doped into the suspension to reduce the frictional contact between particles.

At Leeds we have been exploring the use of inorganic spherical particles being doped into dense particulate suspensions to eradicate suspension yield stress. The mechanism for rheology modification is not yet understood, although a ‘ball-bearing’ mechanism is hypothesized but does not rationalize all behaviors. Using rheology and scattering techniques this project will seek to elucidate the underlying mechanism for rheology modification and provide routes forward to promote ease of flow by optimizing the physicochemical characteristics of the additive particle.

Funding Notes

A full standard studentship through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Growing skills for Reliable Economic Energy from Nuclear (GREEN) consists of academic fees (£4,500 in Session 2019/20), together with a maintenance grant (£15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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