Journal of Fluid Mechanics



Shear flow of highly concentrated emulsions of deformable drops by numerical simulations


ALEXANDER Z. ZINCHENKO a1 and ROBERT H. DAVIS a1
a1 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0424, USA e-mail: zinchenk@colorado.edu; robert.davis@colorado.edu

Abstract

An efficient algorithm for hydrodynamical interaction of many deformable drops subject to shear flow at small Reynolds numbers with triply periodic boundaries is developed. The algorithm, at each time step, is a hybrid of boundary-integral and economical multipole techniques, and scales practically linearly with the number of drops N in the range N < 1000, for NΔ [similar] 103 boundary elements per drop. A new near-singularity subtraction in the double layer overcomes the divergence of velocity iterations at high drop volume fractions c and substantial viscosity ratio γ. Extensive long-time simulations for N = 100–200 and NΔ = 1000–2000 are performed up to c = 0.55 and drop-to-medium viscosity ratios up to λ = 5, to calculate the non-dimensional emulsion viscosity μ* = Σ12/(μeγ[dot above]), and the first N1 = (Σ11−Σ22)/(μe[mid R:]γ[dot above][mid R:]) and second N2 = (Σ22−Σ33)/(μe[mid R:]γ[dot above][mid R:]) normal stress differences, where γ[dot above] is the shear rate, μe is the matrix viscosity, and Σij is the average stress tensor. For c = 0.45 and 0.5, μ* is a strong function of the capillary number Ca = μe[mid R:]γ[dot above][mid R:]a/σ (where a is the non-deformed drop radius, and σ is the interfacial tension) for Ca [double less-than sign] 1, so that most of the shear thinning occurs for nearly non-deformed drops. For c = 0.55 and λ = 1, however, the results suggest phase transition to a partially ordered state at Ca [less-than-or-eq, slant] 0.05, and μ* becomes a weaker function of c and Ca; using λ = 3 delays phase transition to smaller Ca. A positive first normal stress difference, N1, is a strong function of Ca; the second normal stress difference, N2, is always negative and is a relatively weak function of Ca. It is found at c = 0.5 that small systems (N [similar] 10) fail to predict the correct behaviour of the viscosity and can give particularly large errors for N1, while larger systems N [gt-or-equal, slanted] O(102)show very good convergence. For N [similar] 102 and NΔ [similar] 103, the present algorithm is two orders of magnitude faster than a standard boundary-integral code, which has made the calculations feasible.

(Received April 23 2001)
(Revised August 16 2001)



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