Society of Rheology through the American Institute of Physics
Journal of Rheology vol:53 issue:2 pages:459-480
The effect of the viscoelastic nature of the suspending medium on the rotation of spherical particles in a simple shear flow is studied experimentally using a counter-rotating device. To evaluate the effect of variations in rheological properties of the suspending media, fluids have been selected which highlight specific constitutive features. These include a reference Newtonian fluid, a constant viscosity, high elasticity Boger fluid, a single relaxation time wormlike micellar surfactant solution, and a broad spectrum shear-thinning elastic polymer solution. It is shown that particle rotation slows down, when compared to the Newtonian case, as elasticity increases, in qualitative agreement with computer simulation studies. Despite the variation in constitutive properties and the wide range of time scales of the fluids, it is found that the Weissenberg number suffices to scale the data: the dimensionless rotation speed of the spheres in the different fluids scales onto a single master curve as a function of the Weissenberg number. This indicates that the slowing down in rotation finds its main origin in (indirect) normal stress effects.