Unlocking jams in fluid materials: A theoretical model to understand how to best avoid jamming of soft matter

October 5, 2011

In a study recently published in European Physical Journal E (EPJE), a German scientist constructed a theoretical model to understand how to best avoid jamming of soft matter that can be applied in food and cosmetics production.

Thomas Voigtmann, a researcher at the Institute for Material Physics in Space in Cologne, Germany, evaluated the internal , or yield stress, to be overcome before a solid material made of a metallic melt with a glass structure can flow and thus prevent jamming.

These have an apparent viscosity that drops if they are forced to flow quickly – a property called shear thinning. They are similar to solid paint that is highly viscous, almost solid, in a bucket and can easily become liquid when applied with a brush. The force applied to the paint by a brush stroke is sufficient for shear thinning to occur.

The properties of these metallic melts are not well understood. Until now, these materials have been studied using models for three classes of materials: (like toothpaste), metallic liquids, or granular materials (like sand).

However, none of these models accurately describes these materials. Instead, Voigtmann devised two models that take into account the common properties between the three material classes; here the goal was to determine whether their yield stress is either continuous (it gets smaller with the flow rate) or discontinuous (remains at a constant value regardless of the flow rate) at a decreasing flow rate. He used available data to test the models; however, further data on lower flow rates than currently available would be required in order to be conclusive.

Further theoretical research will help us to understand how to process large amounts of soft matter for the food industry such as mayonnaise (an emulsion), jelly (a colloidal dispersion), or granular materials such as grains or pharmaceutical pills while avoiding blockages as they flow through processing pipes.

Explore further: Physicists Develop Force Law for Granular Impacts: Sand, Other Granular Matter's Behavior Is Better Defined

More information: Yield Stresses and Flow Curves in Metallic Glass Formers and Granular Systems T Voigtmann, European Physical Journal E (2011) 34: 106, DOI 10.1140/epje/i2011-11106-8

Related Stories

How to Rip a Fluid

June 1, 2007

In a simple experiment on a mixture of water, surfactant (soap), and an organic salt, two researchers working in the Pritchard Laboratories at Penn State have shown that a rigid object like a knife passes through the mixture ...

Staying out of jams

July 23, 2007

What do sand, coal, cereal, ice cubes, marbles, gravel, sugar, pills, and powders have in common" They are all granular materials, members of an unruly family of substances that refuse to completely conform to the laws of ...

Flowing structures in soft crystals

August 8, 2011

What is common to blood, ink and gruel? They are all liquids in which tiny particles are suspended – so called “colloids”. In some of these liquids, the particles form groups (clusters), which form regular ...

Recommended for you

Long-sought chiral anomaly detected in crystalline material

September 3, 2015

A study by Princeton researchers presents evidence for a long-sought phenomenon—first theorized in the 1960s and predicted to be found in crystals in 1983—called the "chiral anomaly" in a metallic compound of sodium and ...

Probing the limits of wind power generation

September 2, 2015

(Phys.org)—Wind turbine farms now account for an estimated 3.3 percent of electricity generation in the United States, and 2.9 percent of electricity generated globally. The wind turbine industry is growing along all vectors, ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Isaacsname
not rated yet Oct 05, 2011
So for something like a Bingham plastic, or ooblek, wouldn't oscillations help negate settling problems in flow ?

http://www.youtub...Po3EA7oE
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
IMO the paths of jams are pretty close to the appearance of dark matter streaks around/between galaxies and their dodecahedral geometry follows from the principles of dense hypersphere packing geometry, as described with Lie groups.

http://www.youtub...cjPSZeAg
http://scienceblo...ion.jpeg

The similar geometry applies to quantum scale in symmetrical way (compare the Lissi Garrett's E8 theory of nuclear interactions). Downvoted with kaasinees.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.