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Shear banding in time-dependent flows of polymers and wormlike micelles

Moorcroft, R.L.; Fielding, S.M.

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R.L. Moorcroft


We study theoretically the formation of shear bands in time-dependent flows of polymeric and wormlike micellar surfactant fluids, focussing on the protocols of step shear stress, step shear strain (or in practice a rapid strain ramp), and shear startup, which are commonly studied experimentally. For each protocol we perform a linear stability analysis to provide a fluid-universal criterion for the onset of shear banding, following our recent letter [Moorcroft and Fielding, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 086001 (2013)]. In each case this criterion depends only on the shape of the experimentally measured rheological response function for that protocol, independent of the constitutive properties of the material in question (Therefore our criteria in fact concern all complex fluids and not just the polymeric ones of interest here.). An important prediction is that pronounced banding can arise transiently in each of these protocols, even in fluids for which the underlying constitutive curve of stress as a function of strain-rate is monotonic and a steadily flowing state is accordingly unbanded. For each protocol we provide numerical results in the rolie-poly and Giesekus models that support our predictions. We comment on the ability of the rolie-poly model to capture the observed experimental phenomenology and on the failure of the Giesekus model.


Moorcroft, R., & Fielding, S. (2014). Shear banding in time-dependent flows of polymers and wormlike micelles. Journal of Rheology, 58(1), 103-147.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 30, 2013
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2013
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 2, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jun 3, 2014
Journal Journal of Rheology
Print ISSN 0148-6055
Electronic ISSN 1520-8516
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Issue 1
Pages 103-147


Published Journal Article (2.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Journal of rheology, 58(1): 103-147 and may be found at

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