The viscosity-volume fraction relation for suspensions of rod-like particles by falling-ball rheometry

William J. Milliken, Moshe Gottlieb, Alan L. Graham, Lisa A. Mondy, Robert L. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relative viscosities of suspensions of randomly oriented rods in a Newtonian fluid were measured using falling-ball rheometry. The rods were monodisperse and sufficiently large to render colloidal and Brownian forces negligible. Steel and brass ball bearings were dropped along the centreline of cylindrical columns containing the suspensions. The terminal velocities of the falling balls were measured and used to determine the average viscosities of the suspensions. The suspensions behaved as Newtonian fluids in that they were characterized by a constant viscosity. They exhibited a linear relative viscosity-volume fraction relationship for volume fractions less than 0.125, and, for volume fractions between 0.125 and 0.2315, the specific viscosity increased with the cube of the volume fraction. The relative viscosity was found to be independent of falling-ball size for a ratio of falling ball to fibre length greater than 0.3. It was found to be independent of the diameter of the containing cylindrical column for a ratio of column diameter to fibre length greater than 3.2. The value determined for the intrinsic viscosity is in good agreement with theoretical predictions for suspensions of randomly oriented rods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume202
Issue number273
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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