Rheologica Acta

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 231–239 | Cite as

Heterogeneity, suspension, and yielding in sparse microfibrous cellulose gels 2: strain rate-dependent two-fluid behavior

  • Jie Song
  • Marco Caggioni
  • Todd M. Squires
  • James F. Gilchrist
  • Stuart W. Prescott
  • Patrick T. SpicerEmail author
Original Contribution


Complex fluids are widely used in formulated products to impart rheological properties like stability, performance, and aesthetics. Yield stress fluids are a particularly important example, enabling applications like particle suspension, surface coating, and therapeutic delivery. Recent work has shown that particle suspension in yield stress fluids can be a strong function of yielding and flow heterogeneities, especially in anisotropic fiber dispersions. This work uses a microbubble technique to study the deformation before and during yielding of microfibrous cellulose suspensions. We note significant variations in suspension performance as a result of fiber rearrangement and heterogeneities. Strong strain rate dependencies are found to vary local network yield strength, and confocal microscopy quantifies structural reinforcement and deformation rate effects. The observed behavior indicates a two-fluid interpretation may help interpret sparse network flow and suspension properties.


Gels Yielding Microstructure rearrangement Two-fluid model Microfibrous cellulose Strain rate dependent 



We thank the BioMedical Imaging Facility (BMIF) and the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) at UNSW for confocal microscopy imaging and support.

Funding information

We received financial support from the Procter & Gamble Company and the UNSW Major Research Equipment Infrastructure Initiative (MREII 2014). This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF PHY-1748958


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Song
    • 1
  • Marco Caggioni
    • 2
  • Todd M. Squires
    • 3
  • James F. Gilchrist
    • 4
  • Stuart W. Prescott
    • 1
  • Patrick T. Spicer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Complex Fluids Group, Chemical EngineeringUNSW AustraliaSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Microstructured FluidsProcter & Gamble Co.West ChesterUSA
  3. 3.Chemical EngineeringUC Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  4. 4.Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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