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Edge Fracture in Complex Fluids

Hemingway, Ewan J.; Kusumaatmaja, Halim; Fielding, Suzanne M.

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Ewan J. Hemingway


We study theoretically the edge fracture instability in sheared complex fluids, by means of linear stability analysis and direct nonlinear simulations. We derive an exact analytical expression for the onset of edge fracture in terms of the shear-rate derivative of the fluid’s second normal stress difference, the shear-rate derivative of the shear stress, the jump in shear stress across the interface between the fluid and the outside medium (usually air), the surface tension of that interface, and the rheometer gap size. We provide a full mechanistic understanding of the edge fracture instability, carefully validated against our simulations. These findings, which are robust with respect to choice of rheological constitutive model, also suggest a possible route to mitigating edge fracture, potentially allowing experimentalists to achieve and accurately measure flows stronger than hitherto possible.


Hemingway, E. J., Kusumaatmaja, H., & Fielding, S. M. (2017). Edge Fracture in Complex Fluids. Physical Review Letters, 119(2), Article 028006.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 14, 2017
Publication Date Jul 14, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 17, 2017
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 119
Issue 2
Article Number 028006


Published Journal Article (345 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Physical Review Letters 119, 028006 © (2017) by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.

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