Chains of Particles in Shear Flow

Science  16 Sep 1966:
Vol. 153, Issue 3742, pp. 1405-1406
DOI: 10.1126/science.153.3742.1405


Interesting physical models of threads, rouleaux of red blood cells, and other flexible structures (including macromolecules) have been prepared with chains of spheres and discs. When suspended in a viscous liquid undergoing shear flow, the aggregates rotate as nearly rigid bodies, even though they have no tensile strength or stiffness until shear rates high enough to cause bending and then breaking are reached. By adding a second liquid phase which causes a meniscus to bridge adjacent particles, sufficient tensile strength can be provided to cause bending without breakage.