Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Structure, diffusion and rheology of Brownian suspensions by Stokesian Dynamics simulation

a1 Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA


The non-equilibrium behaviour of concentrated colloidal dispersions is studied using Stokesian Dynamics, a molecular-dynamics-like simulation technique for analysing suspensions of particles immersed in a Newtonian fluid. The simulations are of a monodisperse suspension of Brownian hard spheres in simple shear flow as a function of the Péclet number, Pe, which measures the relative importance of hydrodynamic and Brownian forces, over a range of volume fraction 0.316 [less-than-or-eq, slant] φ [less-than-or-eq, slant] 0.49. For Pe < 10, Brownian motion dominates the behaviour, the suspension remains well-dispersed, and the viscosity shear thins. The first normal stress difference is positive and the second negative. At higher Pe, hydrodynamics dominate resulting in an increase in the long-time self-diffusivity and the viscosity. The first normal stress difference changes sign when hydrodynamics dominate. Simulation results are shown to agree well with both theory and experiment.

(Received April 20 1999)
(Revised September 25 1999)