Rheologica Acta

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

Self-organized domain microstructures in a plate-like particle suspension subjected to rapid simple shear

  • Hiroshi KawabataEmail author
  • Daisuke Nishiura
  • Hide Sakaguchi
  • Yoshiyuki Tatsumi
Original Contribution


The evolution of the microstructure and rheological properties of plate-like particle suspensions subjected to rapid simple shear is studied numerically. In response to the shear-induced strain, particles in the suspensions rearrange to form a steady-state microstructure, and the suspension viscosity reaches a steady value. Under this condition, the microstructure is composed of two domains having different particle fractions and particle orientations. In the matrix (particle-poor) and cluster (particle-rich) domains, the particles’ long axes are oriented subparallel to the shear plane and normal to the maximum compressive principal direction, respectively. A higher particle concentration and friction coefficient enhance the development of cluster domains relative to matrix domains leading the intensity of the preferred particle orientation to decrease and the number of contacting particles, the aspect ratio of clusters, the inter-particle force, and the suspension viscosity to increase. The domain microstructure is governed by two factors: (1) geometric relations between the particle orientation and the maximum compressive axes and (2) the magnitude of particle–fluid and particle–particle interactions. The first factor results in the coupling of the particle orientation and the local fraction of particles, which is an important character of the domain microstructure. The second factor controls the relative development of the cluster and matrix domains through the change in the particles’ rotational behavior. Our results suggest that the microstructure of plate-like suspensions subjected to rapid shear is predictable in terms of the cluster stability, which has important implications for the kinematics of flow-related microstructures in nature and manufacturing.


Contact force Hydrocluster Microstructure Force chain Simple shear Columnar phase 



We are grateful to Hiroaki Ohfuji for useful suggestions on this study. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 20740310 (Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) to H. K.). Constructive reviews by anonymous reviewers and editor Henning Winter improved the quality of this paper and were much appreciated.

Supplementary material

397_2012_657_MOESM1_ESM.mpg (5.4 mb)
(MPG 5.42 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Kawabata
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daisuke Nishiura
    • 2
  • Hide Sakaguchi
    • 2
  • Yoshiyuki Tatsumi
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Research on Earth Evolution (IFREE)Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokosukaJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Research on Earth Evolution (IFREE)Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Faculty of ScienceKobe UniversityNada KobeJapan

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