Fluidization and wall slip of soft glassy materials by controlled surface roughness

 L. Derzsi, D. Filippi, G. Mistura, M. Pierno, M. Lulli, M. Sbragaglia, M. Bernaschi and P. Garstecki

Physics Review E, 2017, doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.95.052602      PDF

We present a comprehensive study of concentrated emulsions flowing in microfluidic channels, one wall of which is patterned with micron-size equally spaced grooves oriented perpendicularly to the flow direction. We find a scaling law describing the roughness-induced fluidization as a function of the density of the grooves, thus fluidization can be predicted and quantitatively regulated. This suggests common scenarios for droplet trapping and release, potentially applicable for other jammed systems as well. Numerical simulations confirm these views and provide a direct link between fluidization and the spatial distribution of plastic rearrangements.

 

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