Journal of non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics vol:166 issue:7-8 pages:363-372
When particles are dispersed in viscoelastic rather than Newtonian media, the hydrodynamics will be changed entailing differences in suspension rheology. The disturbance velocity profiles and stress distributions around the particle will depend on the viscoelastic material functions. Even in inertialess flows, changes in particle rotation and migration will occur. The problem of the rotation of a single spherical particle in simple shear flow in viscoelastic fluids was recently studied to understand the effects of changes in the theological properties with both numerical simulations [D'Avino et al., J. Rheol. 52 (2008) 1331-1346] and experiments [Snijkers et al., J. Rheol. 53 (2009) 459-480]. In the simulations, different constitutive models were used to demonstrate the effects of different theological behavior. In the experiments, fluids with different constitutive properties were chosen. In both studies a slowing down of the rotation speed of the particles was found, when compared to the Newtonian case, as elasticity increases. Surprisingly, the extent of the slowing down of the rotation rate did not depend strongly on the details of the fluid rheology, but primarily on the Weissenberg number defined as the ratio between the first normal stress difference and the shear stress.