Focused force transmission through an aqueous suspension of granules

Bin Liu, Michael Shelley, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate force transmission through a layer of shear-thickening fluid, here a concentrated aqueous cornstarch suspension. When a solid body is pushed through this complex fluid and approaches its containing wall, a hardened volume of the suspension is observed that adds to the leading side of the body. This volume leads to an imprint on the wall which is made of molding clay. By studying the geometry of the hardened volume, inferred by the imprint shapes, we find that its geometry is determined by the size and speed of the body. By characterizing the response of the clay to deformation we show that the force transmitted through the suspension to the wall is localized. We also study other aspects of this dynamical hardening of the suspension, such as the effect of the substrate and body shape, and its relaxation as the imposed straining is stopped.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 25 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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