Gravitational compression of colloidal gels
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- Liétor-Santos, J.J., Kim, C., Lu, P.J. et al. Eur. Phys. J. E (2009) 28: 159. doi:10.1140/epje/i2008-10390-7
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We study the compression of depletion gels under the influence of a gravitational stress by monitoring the time evolution of the gel interface and the local volume fraction, \( \phi\), inside the gel. We find \( \phi\) is not constant throughout the gel. Instead, there is a volume fraction gradient that develops and grows along the gel height as the compression process proceeds. Our results are correctly described by a non-linear poroelastic model that explicitly incorporates the \( \phi\) -dependence of the gravitational, elastic and viscous stresses acting on the gel.