Flow of a thixotropic or antithixotropic fluid in a slowly varying channel : the weakly advective regime

Pritchard, David and Wilson, Stephen K. and McArdle, Catriona R. (2016) Flow of a thixotropic or antithixotropic fluid in a slowly varying channel : the weakly advective regime. Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, 238. pp. 140-157. ISSN 0377-0257 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnnfm.2016.07.009)

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A general formulation of the governing equations for the slow, steady, two-dimensional flow of a thixotropic or antithixotropic fluid in a channel of slowly varying width is described. These equations are equivalent to the equations of classical lubrication theory for a Newtonian fluid, but incorporate the evolving microstructure of the fluid, described in terms of a scalar structure parameter. We demonstrate how the lubrication equations can be further simplified in the weakly advective regime in which the advective Deborah number is comparable to the aspect ratio of the flow, and present illustrative analytical and semi-analytical solutions for particular choices of the constitutive and kinetic laws, including a purely viscous Moore-Mewis-Wagner model and a regularised viscoplastic Houska model. The lubrication results also allow the calibration and validation of cross-sectionally averaged, or otherwise reduced, descriptions of thixotropic channel flow which provide a first step towards models of thixotropic flow in porous media, and we employ them to explain why such descriptions may be inadequate.


Pritchard, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9235-7052, Wilson, Stephen K. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7841-9643 and McArdle, Catriona R.;