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Rheology of dense granular suspensions

  • Élisabeth Guazzelli (a1) and Olivier Pouliquen (a1)

Suspensions are composed of mixtures of particles and fluid and are omnipresent in natural phenomena and in industrial processes. The present paper addresses the rheology of concentrated suspensions of non-colloidal particles. While hydrodynamic interactions or lubrication forces between the particles are important in the dilute regime, they become of lesser significance when the concentration is increased, and direct particle contacts become dominant in the rheological response of concentrated suspensions, particularly those close to the maximum volume fraction where the suspension ceases to flow. The rheology of these dense suspensions can be approached via a diversity of approaches that the paper introduces successively. The mixture of particles and fluid can be seen as a fluid with effective rheological properties but also as a two-phase system wherein the fluid and particles can experience relative motion. Rheometry can be undertaken at an imposed volume fraction but also at imposed values of particle normal stress, which is particularly suited to yield examination of the rheology close to the jamming transition. The response of suspensions to unsteady or transient flows provides access to different features of the suspension rheology. Finally, beyond the problem of suspension of rigid, non-colloidal spheres in a Newtonian fluid, there are a great variety of complex mixtures of particles and fluid that remain relatively unexplored.

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