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Rheology of dense suspensions of ideally conductive particles in an electric field

Siamak MirfendereskiJae Sung Park
Nov 2023
The rheological behaviour of dense suspensions of ideally conductive particles in the presence of both electric field and shear flow is studied using large-scale numerical simulations. Under the action of an electric field, these particles are known to undergo dipolophoresis, which is the combination of two nonlinear electrokinetic phenomena -- induced-charge electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis. For ideally conductive particles, induced-charge electrophoresis is predominant over dielectrophoresis, resulting in transient pairing dynamics. The shear viscosity and first and second normal stress differences $N_1$ and $N_2$ of such suspensions are examined over a range of volume fractions $15\% \leqslant \phi \leqslant 50\%$ as a function of Mason number $Mn$, which measures the relative importance of viscous shear stress over electrokinetic-driven stress. For $Mn < 1$ or low shear rates, the dipolophoresis is shown to dominate the dynamics, resulting in a relatively low-viscosity state. The positive $N_1$ and negative $N_2$ are observed at $\phi < 30\%$, which is similar to Brownian suspensions, while their signs are reversed at $\phi \ge 30\%$. For $Mn \ge 1$, the shear thickening starts to arise at $\phi \ge 30\%$, and an almost five-fold increase in viscosity occurs at $\phi = 50\%$. Both $N_1$ and $N_2$ are negative for $Mn \gg 1$ at all volume fractions considered. We illuminate the transition in rheological behaviours from dipolophoresis to shear dominance around $Mn = 1$ in connection to suspension microstructure and dynamics. Lastly, our findings reveal the potential use of nonlinear electrokinetics as a means of active rheology control for such suspensions.
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