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Published September 15, 2017 | Supplemental Material + Published
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Shear-Induced Heterogeneity in Associating Polymer Gels: Role of Network Structure and Dilatancy


We study associating polymer gels under steady shear using Brownian dynamics simulation to explore the interplay between the network structure, dynamics, and rheology. For a wide range of flow rates, we observe the formation of shear bands with a pronounced difference in shear rate, concentration, and structure. A striking increase in the polymer pressure in the gradient direction with shear, along with the inherently large compressibility of the gels, is shown to be a crucial factor in destabilizing homogeneous flow through shear-gradient concentration coupling. We find that shear has only a modest influence on the degree of association, but induces marked spatial heterogeneity in the network connectivity. We attribute the increase in the polymer pressure (and polymer mobility) to this structural reorganization.

Additional Information

© 2017 American Physical Society. Received 8 July 2016; revised manuscript received 23 April 2017; published 12 September 2017. We thank John Brady and Marco Heinen for fruitful discussions. A. K. O. acknowledges support by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1144469 and an HHMI Gilliam Fellowship.

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Published - PhysRevLett.119.117801.pdf

Supplemental Material - SM.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 17, 2023