Bubbles, droplets or particles in flowing complex media such as foams, emulsions or suspensions follow highly complex paths, with the relative motion of the constituents setting the energy dissipation rate. What is their dynamics, and how is this connected to the global rheology? To address these questions, we probe the statistics and spatio-temporal organization of the local particle motion and energy dissipation in a model for sheared disordered materials. We find that the fluctuations in the local dissipation vary from nearly Gaussian and homogeneous at low densities and fast flows, to strongly intermittent for large densities and slow flows. The higher order moments of the relative particle velocities reveal strong evidence for a qualitative difference between two distinct regimes which are nevertheless connected by a smooth crossover. In the critical regime, the higher order moments are related by novel multiscaling relations. In the plastic regime the relations between these moments take on a different form, with higher moments diverging rapidly when the flow rate vanishes. As these velocity differences govern the energy dissipation, we can distinguish two qualitatively different types of flow: an intermediate density, critical regime related to jamming, and a large density, plastic regime.

B.M. Mulder (Bela)
Soft Matter
Mechanical Metamaterials

Woldhuis, E., Chikkadi, V., van Deen, M., Schall, P., & van Hecke, M. (2015). Fluctuations in Flows near Jamming. Soft Matter, 11(35), 7024–7031. doi:10.1039/c5sm01592h