Grant: Complex ORAL health products (CORAL): Characterisation, modelling and manufacturing challenges
PI: Professor Panagiota Angeli, University College London

Presentation: CORAL -Viscoelastic effects during processing of complex fluids - pdf-1, pdf-2, pdf-3
Panagiota Angeli*, Tom Lacassagne*, Giovanni Meridiano*, Stavroula Balabani, Luca Mazzei University College London

We will present an overview of recent developments relevant to the manufacturing of complex fluid formulations. In particular we will focus on two aspects.

We will first discuss the flows of polymer solutions in a Taylor-Couette device, an ideal geometry yet relevant to viscometric properties of the complex fluids. It is found that fluid elasticity promotes elasto-inertial chaos, whereas shear thinning delays or suppresses it - inducing a "Newtonian like" behaviour. This may have important consequences on mixing of such fluids. Neutrally buoyant particles are then suspended in the polymeric liquids, and the combined effects of particles and non-Newtonian solvent properties on the flow transitions are investigated.

We will further present developments on the mixing of solid particles in viscoelastic fluids in a stirred vessel. A combination of laser based technique have been used to measure the velocity fields of the solid and fluid phases simultaneously along with the distribution of the solids in the tank. The experimental data show that in a Newtonian fluid particles disperse uniformly in the vessel, while in a viscoelastic fluid they tend to accumulate in the core of the vortices formed in the flow domain. The clustering, which affects the quality of the mixing, has been attributed to the viscoelasticity-induced cross-flow migration phenomenon and is linked to the viscoelastic property of the fluid.


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