Numerical simulations of emulsions in shear flows
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We present a modification of a recently developed volume of fluid method for multiphase problems (Ii et al. in J Comput Phys 231(5):2328–2358, 2012), so that it can be used in conjunction with a fractional-step method and fast Poisson solver, and validate it with standard benchmark problems. We then consider emulsions of two-fluid systems and study their rheology in a plane Couette flow in the limit of vanishing inertia. We examine the dependency of the effective viscosity \(\mu \) on the volume fraction \(\varPhi \) (from 10 to \(30\%\)) and the Capillary number Ca (from 0.1 to 0.4) for the case of density and viscosity ratio 1. We show that the effective viscosity decreases with the deformation and the applied shear (shear-thinning) while exhibiting a non-monotonic behavior with respect to the volume fraction. We report the appearance of a maximum in the effective viscosity curve and compare the results with those of suspensions of rigid and deformable particles and capsules. We show that the flow in the solvent is mostly a shear flow, while it is mostly rotational in the suspended phase; moreover, this behavior tends to reverse as the volume fraction increases. Finally, we evaluate the contributions to the total shear stress of the viscous stresses in the two fluids and of the interfacial force between them.
The work is supported by the Microflusa project. This effort receives funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement no. 664823. L.B. and M.E.R. also acknowledge financial support by the European Research Council Grant no. ERC-2013-CoG-616186, TRITOS. The computer time was provided by Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC).
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