The dynamics of parallel-plate and cone-plate flows

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Rotational rheometers are the most commonly used devices to investigate the rheological behavior of liquids in shear flows. These devices are used to measure rheological properties of both Newtonian and non-Newtonian, or complex, fluids. Two of the most widely used geometries are flow between parallel plates and flow between a cone and a plate. A time-dependent rotation of the plate or cone is often used to study the time-dependent response of the fluid. In practice, the time dependence of the flow field is ignored, that is, a steady-state velocity field is assumed to exist throughout the measurement. In this study, we examine the dynamics of the velocity field for parallel-plate and cone-plate flows of Newtonian fluids by finding analytical solutions of the Navier-Stokes equation in the creeping flow limit. The time-dependent solution for parallel-plate flow is relatively simple as it requires the velocity to have a linear dependence on radial position. Interestingly, the time-dependent solution for cone-plate flow does not allow the velocity to have a linear dependence on radial position, which it must have at the steady state. Here, we examine the time-dependent velocity fields for these two flows, and we present results showing the time dependence of the torque exerted on both the stationary and rotating fixtures. We also examine the time dependence of spatial non-homogeneities of the strain rate. Finally, we speculate on the possible implications of our results in the context of shear banding, which is often observed in parallel-plate and cone-plate flows of complex fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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