Sedimentation of heavy particles in sheared soft particle glasses

How To Apply

Interested in participating in this research project? Contact the professor or graduate student listed below.


Fardin Khabaz, Assistant Professor (Department of Polymer Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering) |

Graduate Student

Alessandro Perego |

Project Description

Soft particle glasses (SPGs) are composed of elastic non-Brownian particles that are jammed beyond the packing fraction of equivalent hard spheres. SPGs show solid-like behavior at rest, and they flow when subjected to external stimuli such as shear deformation. Considering this tunable rheological property, they have been used as additives in many products such as cosmetic creams, hair gels, food products, paper coating industries, and recently it has been suggested that these suspensions can be used in the drilling muds. Drilling muds are complex fluids used in drilling boreholes for oil and natural gas wells. SPGs can penetrate rock pores and prevent the flow of drilling fluids into the rock pores. Drilling muds suspend the drill cuttings while drilling is stopped and when the drilling is restarted. Given this important function, it is necessary to understand how do the other heavy particles move in the suspensions of soft particles. Prior particle simulations works have established the relationships between the microscopic and macroscopic properties of these systems. In this project, we aim to predict the dynamics of the hard particles, which interact with soft ones, using dynamic simulations. The suspensions will be imposed to shear flow, and the heavy particles are under the gravitational force. Using appropriate force laws between the heavy and soft particles, their motion (including their velocity and total force acting on them) will be determined as a function of time, and a correlation between the minimum weight of the heavy particles, which leads to the sedimentation, and the yield stress of the background SPGs will be determined. Goals of the project: 1. Build a dynamic simulation tool using C++ programming that will be integrated with the LAMMPS package. 2. Determine the relationship between the settling velocity of heavy particles, yield stress of SPGs, and strength of the shear flow.

Project Dates

Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020

Search Terms

Advanced Materials, For Credit, Non-Credit, Non-Funded, STEM