On the early breakdown of semisolid suspensions
AuthorAlexandrou, Andreas N.
SourceJournal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
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Semisolid materials are suspensions of metal alloys which are processed while in a mushy state. In this state, the suspensions behave as viscoplastic materials with time-dependent material properties. During processing, the material is injected at high speed into a mold cavity with the process lasting only fractions of a second. The short-term transient material response is thus very important for the understanding of the rheology and the further development of the process. A theory based on the Herschel-Bulkley flow model appropriate for the short-term breakage of welded bonds in semisolid metal slurries is proposed. The "strength" of the slurry due to these bonds is assumed to be a function of a coherency parameter which is proportional to the number of welded bonds that break during the application of shear. The evolution of this parameter is described by a first-order kinetics. Using a novel and simple computational method, well suited for free and moving-boundary problems, we study the flow between two coaxial cylinders and obtain accurate results for the evolution of the structure, the extent of the yielded domain and the evolution of the stress. The results and conclusions apply directly to the design and analysis of rotational rheometer experiments for semisolid metal slurries and suspension systems exhibiting similar behavior. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.