Polymer Science Faculty Research


Direct visualization of continuous simple shear in non-Newtonian polymeric fluids

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


Using a particle tracking velocimetric technique, we show direct evidence of nonlinear velocity profiles during simple-shear flow of an entangled polymer solution, offering new insight into the origins of such characteristics as stress overshoot. Upon a startup shear by imposing a constant velocity on one of the two surfaces that confine the sample, the velocity field evolves from the initial linearity across the gap to a final state with a shear rate gradient. The unexpected deviation from the widely assumed linear variation of the velocity along the gap direction is most plausibly due to the entangled polymer’s ability to disentangle in the presence of high shear that can orient the polymer chains leading to anisotropy in their mutual constraint.



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