A dissipative particle dynamics model for thixotropic materials exhibiting pseudo-yield stress behaviour

Abstract

Many materials (e.g., gels, colloids, concentrated cohesive sediments, etc.) exhibit a stable solid form at rest, and liquify once subjected to an applied stress exceeding a critical value – a yield-stress behaviour. This can be qualitatively explained by the forming and destruction of the fluid microstructure [1], and it may be modelled as a thixotropic and yield stress material. In this paper, we propose a mesoscopic model which is able to mimic a thixotropic and yield stress behaviour using a particle-based technique known as dissipative particle dynamics (DPD). The DPD technique satisfies conservation of mass and momentum and it has been applied successfully for a number of problems involving complex-structure fluids, such as polymer solutions, suspensions of rigid particles, droplets, biological fluids, etc. In this work, an indirect linkage dissipative particle model (ILDP) is proposed based on qualitative microstructural physics, which results in a non-Newtonian fluid with observed yield stress and thixotropic properties. The model comprises of two types, or species, of DPD particles – with only repulsive conservative force between the same species, and with repulsive force at short range and attractive force at long range between different species. Numerical results show that the proposed DPD fluid can represent some observed complex behaviours, such as yield stress and thixotropic effects

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