Tuesday, July 23, 2013

1307.5415 (Christophe Perge et al.)

Surfactant micelles: model systems for flow instabilities of complex

Christophe Perge, Marc-Antoine Fardin, Sebastien Manneville
Complex fluids such as emulsions, colloidal gels, polymer or surfactant solutions are all characterized by the existence of a "microstructure" which may couple to an external flow on timescales that are easily probed in experiments. Such a coupling between flow and microstructure usually leads to instabilities under relatively weak shear flows that correspond to vanishingly small Reynolds numbers. Wormlike micellar surfactant solutions appear as model systems to study two examples of such instabilities, namely shear banding and elastic instabilities. Focusing on a semidilute sample we show that two dimensional ultrafast ultrasonic imaging allows for a thorough investigation of unstable shear-banded micellar flows. In steady state, radial and azimuthal velocity components are recovered and unveil the original structure of the vortical flow within an elastically unstable high shear rate band. Furthermore thanks to an unprecedented frame rate of up to 20,000 fps, transients and fast dynamics can be resolved, which paves the way for a better understanding of elastic turbulence.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.5415

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