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    The extensional viscosity of a dilute suspension of spherical particles at intermediate microscale Reynolds numbers

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    The extensional viscosity of a dilute suspension of spherical particles (rigid spheres, viscous drops or gas bubbles) is computed for the case when the Reynolds number of the microscale disturbance motion R is not restricted to be small, as in the classical analysis of Einstein and Taylor. However, the present theory is restricted to steady axisymmetric pure straining flow (uniaxial extension). The rate of energy dissipation is expressed using the Bobyleff-Forsythe formula and then conditionally convergent integrals are removed explicitly. The problem is thereby reduced to a determination of the flow around a particle, subject to pure straining at infinity, followed (for rigid particles) by an evaluation of the volume integral of the vorticity squared. In the case of fluid particles, further integrals over the volume and surface of the particle are required. In the present paper, results are obtained numerically for 1 [less-than-or-eq, slant] R [less-than-or-eq, slant] 1000 for a rigid sphere, for a drop whose viscosity is equal to the viscosity of the ambient fluid, and for an inviscid drop (gas bubble). For the last case, limiting results are also obtained for R [rightward arrow] [infinity] using Levich's approach. All of these results show a strain-thickening behaviour which increases with the viscosity of the particle. The possibility of experimental verification of the results, which is complicated by the inapplicability of the approximation of material frame-indifference in this case, is discussed