Journal of Visualization

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 275–286 | Cite as

Development of ultrasonic visualizer for capturing the characteristics of viscoelastic fluids

  • Takahisa Shiratori
  • Yuji Tasaka
  • Yuichi Murai
  • Yasushi Takeda
Regular Paper


In the field of rheology, properties of non-Newtonian fluids have been traditionally represented on graphs such as viscosity curves. In this paper, we propose a visualizer to express the fluid properties as visualized fluid motions in a rotating cylinder. To highlight different fluid motions, three patterns of rotation were given to the cylinder: rapid start of constant rotation (spin-up), rapid stop from constant rotation (spin-down), and periodic rotation. Relationships between fluid motion and fluid properties are discussed by comparing velocity profiles for three fluids: silicone oil, yogurt, and a polyacrylamide (PAA) solution. Ultrasonic velocity profiler (UVP) was used to obtain spatio-temporal velocity maps. The velocity maps reflect essential rheological properties, such as shear thinning, yield stress, and elasticity. Two additional display modes are proposed to explore fluid motions due to viscoelasticity of the PAA solution and yogurt: a grid deformation field and a shear rate field. These two visualizations can provide intuitive understanding of viscoelasticity because deformation and shear rate determine elastic and viscous stresses, respectively. In spin-down tests, the recovery of deformed grids, which is caused by elasticity, can be explicitly observed. Further, the shear rate distributions indicate that kinetic energy of the fluid dissipates near the lateral wall right after the wall stops rotating. In short, these two quantity fields visualize energy conversion among kinetic, elastic, and thermal energy; such energy conversions are characteristic of viscoelastic fluids.

Graphical Abstract


Ultrasonic velocity profiler (UVP) Property visualization Viscoelasticity Shear thinning Rheology 



We would like to express our thanks to Prof. H. Orihara in the Laboratory of Softmatter Physics, Hokkaido University, for providing the opportunity to use the rotational rheometer and measure rheological properties in Fig. 2. Polyacrylamide used in this study was proffered by Dia-Nitrix Co., Ltd. This study is funded by a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellows No. 25•2388.


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Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takahisa Shiratori
    • 1
  • Yuji Tasaka
    • 1
  • Yuichi Murai
    • 1
  • Yasushi Takeda
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of EngineeringHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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