Everywhere around us, fluids are constantly breaking apart or coalescing. Familiar examples are water dripping from a faucet (liquid fragmentation), and this same droplet coalescing with other droplets in the sink. Or think about a rain droplet being scattered into pieces when it hits the windshield of a fast driving car. But what happens if this liquid is loaded with solid particles? Will it still break apart so easily, and how exactly will it do that? Questions like this are of concern in many industrial applications and natural phenomena, which deal with suspensions. This project dives into the fundamental behaviour of suspensions (liquid with solid particles suspended in it) during coalescence and break-up events. Many suspensions are known to have non-Newtonian properties, which means that their viscosity is a function of shear rate or shear stress. These properties, however, can strongly depend on the boundary conditions and history of deformation and therefore cannot be treated as true material properties. Especially in cases where the morphology changes, think about drop impact, jet-breakup and drop-coalescence, these conditions are expected to play a large role. In this experimental project the main objective is to obtain fundamental understanding of how the particles in a suspension are influencing the behaviour of free surfaces, and how the free surface in return is influencing the particles. The second goal is to extend this knowledge to an application level, for example additive manufacturing using suspensions as building blocks. Applicants should have affinity with fluid dynamics, soft matter, and/or related fields.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Ivo Peters, Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics research group, Email: [email protected]
, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4643.