Non-Newtonian Fluids: An Introduction

  • Rajendra P. Chhabra


The objective of this chapter is to introduce and to illustrate the frequent and wide occurrence of non-Newtonian fluid behaviour in a diverse range of applications, both in nature and in technology. Starting with the definition of a non-Newtonian fluid, different types of non-Newtonian characteristics are briefly described. Representative examples of materials (foams, suspensions, polymer solutions and melts), which, under appropriate circumstances, display shear-thinning, shear-thickening, visco-plastic, time-dependent and viscoelastic behaviour are presented. Each type of non-Newtonian fluid behaviour has been illustrated via experimental data on real materials. This is followed by a short discussion on how to engineer non-Newtonian flow characteristics of a product for its satisfactory end use by manipulating its microstructure by controlling physico-chemical aspects of the system. Finally, we touch upon the ultimate question about the role of non-Newtonian characteristics on the analysis and modelling of the processes of pragmatic engineering significance.


Shear Rate Newtonian Fluid Apparent Viscosity Simple Shear Normal Stress Difference 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyKanpurIndia

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