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Rheology ( /rildi/) is the study of the flow of matter: primarily in the liquid state, but also as 'soft solids' or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force.[1] It applies to substances which have a complex molecular structure, such as muds, sludges, suspensions, polymers and other glass formers (e.g. silicates), as well as many foods and additives, bodily fluids (e.g. blood) and other biological materials. The flow of these substances cannot be characterized by a single value of viscosity (at a fixed temperature). While the viscosity of liquids normally varies with temperature, it is variations with other factors which are studied in rheology. For example, ketchup can have its viscosity reduced by shaking (or other forms of mechanical agitation) but water cannot. Since Sir Isaac Newton originated the concept of viscosity, the study of variable viscosity liquids is also often called Non-Newtonian fluid mechanics.[1] The term rheology was coined by Eugene C. Bingham, a professor at Lafayette College, in 1920, from a suggestion by a colleague, Markus Reiner.[2] The term was inspired by the aphorism of Simplicius (often misattributed to Heraclitus), panta rei, "everything flows"[3] Plato in his dialogue Cratylus recounts on Heraclitus' saying that "all things move and nothing remains still"[4] ; he also compares the etymology of the name of the Greek goddess Rhea () to the Greek name for flow (). He notes the etymological relationship of the names of "streams"[5] given to Cronus (Chronos - time) and Rhea ( flow or space) and he argues that this relationship is not accidental.[6] The experimental characterization of a material's rheological behavior is known as rheometry, although the term rheology is frequently used synonymously with rheometry, particularly by experimentalists. Theoretical aspects of rheology are the relation of the flow/deformation behavior of material and its internal structure (e.g., the orientation and elongation of polymer molecules), and the flow/deformation behavior of materials that cannot be described by classical fluid mechanics or elasticity.

In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the "classical" disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. It is also concerned with establishing predictions for mechanical behavior (on the continuum mechanical scale) based on the micro- or nanostructure of the material, e.g. the molecular size and architecture of polymers in solution or the particle size distribution in a solid suspension. Materials flow when subjected to a stress, that is a force per area. There are different sorts of stress (e.g. shear, torsional, etc.) and materials can respond in various ways. Thus much of theoretical rheology is concerned with the forces associated and external applied loads and stresses, and the resulting internal strains.[1]
Continuum mechanics The study of the physics of continuous materials Solid mechanics The study of the physics of continuous materials with a defined rest shape. Elasticity Describes materials that return to their rest shape after an applied stress. Plasticity Describes materials that permanently deform after a sufficient applied stress. Non-Newtonian fluids Newtonian fluids Rheology The study of materials with both solid and fluid characteristics.

Fluid mechanics The study of the physics of continuous materials which take the shape of their container.

Rheology unites the seemingly unrelated fields of plasticity and non-Newtonian fluids by recognizing that both these types of materials are unable to support a shear stress in static equilibrium. In this sense, a plastic solid is a fluid. Granular rheology refers to the continuum mechanical description of granular materials.

Rheology One of the tasks of rheology is to empirically establish the relationships between deformations and stresses, respectively their derivatives by adequate measurements. These experimental techniques are known as rheometry and are concerned with the determination with well-defined rheological material functions. Such relationships are then amenable to mathematical treatment by the established methods of continuum mechanics. The characterisation of flow or deformation originating from a simple shear stress field is called shear rheometry (or shear rheology). The study of extensional flows is called extensional rheology. Shear flows are much easier to study and thus much more experimental data are available for shear flows than for extensional flows.

A rheologist is an interdisciplinary scientist who studies the flow of complex liquids or the deformation of soft solids. It is not taken as a primary degree subject, and there is no general qualification. He or she will usually have a primary qualification in one of several fields: mathematics, the physical sciences (e.g. chemistry, physics, biology), engineering (e.g. mechanical, chemical or civil engineering), medicine, or certain technologies, notably materials or food. Typically, a small amount of rheology may be studied when obtaining a degree, but the professional will extend this knowledge during postgraduate research or by attending short courses and by joining one of the professional associations (see below).

The classical theory of elasticity deals with the mechanical properties of elastic solids, for which, according to Hooke's Law, stress is always directly proportional to strain in small deformations but independent of the rate of strain. The classical theory of hydrodynamics deals with the properties of viscous liquids, for which, according to Newton's Law, the stress is always directly proportional to the rate of strain, but independent of the strain itself. These principles are, of course, applicable only for ideal materials under ideal conditions, although the behavior of many solids approaches Hooke's law for infinitesimal strains, and that of many liquids approaches Newton's law for infinitesimal rates of strain. Two types of deviations from linearity may be considered here. 1. When finite strains are applied to solid bodies, the stress-strain relationships are often much more complicated (i.e. Non-Hookean). Similarly, in steady flow with finite strain rates, many fluids exhibit marked deviations from Newton's law of stress-strain proportionality. 2. Even if both strain and rate of strain are infinitesimal, a system may exhibit both liquid-like and solid-like characteristics. A good example of this is when a body which is not quite an elastic solid (i.e. an inelastic solid) does not maintain a constant deformation under constant stress, but rather continues to deform with time or "creeps". When such a body is constrained at constant deformation, the stress required to hold it gradually diminishesor "relaxes" with time. Similarly, a body which is not quite liquid (i.e. some elements of elasticity) may, while flowing under constant stress, store some of the energy input instead of dissipating it all as heat and random thermal motion of its molecular constituents. In addition, it may never recover all of its deformation upon removal of the initial applied stress. When such bodies are subjected to a sinusoidally oscillating stress, the strain is neither exactly in phase with the stress (as it would be for a perfectly elastic solid) nor 90 degrees out of phase (as it would be for a perfectly viscous liquid) but rather exhibits a strain value which lies somewhere in between the two extreme cases. I.E. Some of the energy is stored and recovered in each cycle, and some is dissipated as heat. These are viscoelastic materials. Thus, liquids are generally associated with viscous behavior (a thick oil is a viscous liquid) and solids with elastic behavior (an elastic string is an elastic solid). A more general point of view is to consider the material behavior at short times (relative to the duration of the experiment/application of interest) and at long times. Fluid and solid character are relevant at long times: We consider the application of a constant stress (a so-called creep experiment):

Rheology if the material, after some deformation, eventually resists further deformation, it is considered a solid if, by contrast, the material flows indefinitely, it is considered a fluid By contrast, elastic and viscous (or intermediate, viscoelastic) behavior is relevant at short times (transient behavior): We again consider the application of a constant stress: if the material deformation strain increases linearly with increasing applied stress, then the material is purely elastic if the material deformation rate increases linearly with increasing applied stress, then the material is purely viscous if neither the deformation strain, nor its derivative with time (rate) follows the applied stress, then the material is viscoelastic Plasticity is equivalent to the existence of a yield stress: A material that behaves as a solid under low applied stresses may start to flow above a certain level of stress, called the yield stress of the material. The term plastic solid is often used when this plasticity threshold is rather high, while yield stress fluid is used when the threshold stress is rather low. However, there is no fundamental difference between the two concepts.

Rheology has applications in materials science engineering, geophysics, physiology, human biology and pharmaceutics. Materials science is utilized in the production of many industrially important substances such as concrete, paint and chocolate have complex flow characteristics. In addition, plasticity theory has been similarly important for the design of metal forming processes. The science of rheology and the characterization of viscoelastic properties in the production and use of polymeric materials has been critical for the production of many products for use in both the industrial and military sectors. Study of flow properties of liquids is important for pharmacists working in the manufacture of several dosage forms, such as simple liquids, ointments, creams, pastes etc. The flow behavior of liquids under applied stress is of great relevance in the field of pharmacy. Flow properties are used as important quality control tools to maintain the superiority of the product and reduce batch to batch variations.

Materials science
Polymers The viscoelastic properties of polymers are determined by the effects of the many variables, including temperature, pressure, and time. Other important variables include chemical composition, molecular weight and weight distribution, degree of branching and crystallinity, types of functionality, component concentration, dilution with solvents or plasticizers, and mixture with other materials to form composite systems. With guidance by molecular theory, the dependence of viscoelastic properties on these variables can be simplified by introducing additional concepts such as the free volume, the monomeric friction coefficient, and the spacing between entanglement loci, to provide a qualitative understanding and in many cases a quantitative prediction of how to achieve desired physical and chemical properties and ultimate microstructure. Viscoelastic behavior reflects the combined viscous and elastic responses, under mechanical stress, of materials which are intermediate between liquids and solids in character. Fundamentally, the viscoelasticity can be related to the motions of flexible polymer molecules and their entanglements and network junctionsthe molecular basis of viscoelasticity. Thus, rearrangements on a local scale (kinks) are relatively rapid, while on a long-range scale (convolutions) very slow. In addition, a new assortment of configurations is obtained under stress. The response to the local aspects of the new distribution is rapid, while the response to the long-range aspects is slow. Thus there is very wide and continuous range of timescales covering the response of such a system to externally applied stress.

Rheology From measurements of the viscoelastic properties of polymers, information can be obtained about the nature and the rates of change of the configurational rearrangements, and the nature of the (macro)molecular interactions over a range of time scales. Examples may be given to illustrate the potential applications of these principles to practical problems in the processing and use of rubbers, plastics, and fibers. Polymers constitute the basic materials of the rubber and plastic industries and are of vital importance to the textile, petroleum, automobile, paper, and pharmaceutical industries. Their viscoelastic properties determine the mechanical performance of the final products of these industries, and also the success of processing methods at intermediate stages of production. In viscoelastic materials, such as most polymers and plastics, the presence of liquid-like behavior depends on the properties of and so varies with rate of applied load, i.e., how quickly a force is applied. The silicone toy 'Silly Putty' behaves quite differently depending on the time rate of applying a force. Pull on it slowly and it exhibits continuous flow, similar to that evidenced in a highly viscous liquid. Alternatively, when hit hard and directly, it shatters like a silicate glass. In addition, conventional rubber undergoes a glass transition, (often called a rubber-glass transition). E.G. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was caused by rubber O-rings that were being used well below their glass transition temperature on an unusually cold Florida morning, and thus could not flex adequately to form proper seals between sections of the two solid-fuel rocket boosters. Biopolymers A major but defining difference between polymers and biopolymers can be found in their structures. Polymers, including biopolymers, are made of repetitive units called monomers. While polymers are often randomly constructed with massive entanglement, biopolymers often have a well defined structure. In the case of proteins, the exact chemical composition and the sequence in which these units are arranged is called the primary structure. Many proteins spontaneously fold into characteristic compact shapeswhich determine their biological functions and depend in a complicated way on their primary structures. Structural biology is the study of the structural properties of the biopolymers, much of which can be determined by their viscoelastic response to a wide range of loading conditions.

Linear structure of cellulose -- the most common component of all organic plant life on Earth. * Note the evidence of hydrogen bonding which increases the viscosity at any temperature and pressure. This is an effect similar to that of polymer crosslinking, but less pronounced.

Rheology Sol-gel Sol-gel science (aka chemical solution deposition) is a wet-chemical technique widely used in the fields of materials science, glass production and ceramic engineering. Such methods are used primarily for the fabrication of materials (typically a metal oxide) starting from a chemical solution which acts as the precursor for an integrated network (or gel) of either discrete nanoparticles or network polymers. Typical precursors are metal alkoxides and metal chlorides, which undergo various forms of hydrolysis and polycondensation reactions in order to form a viscoelastic network (or solid). One of the largest application areas is thin films and coatings, which can be produced on a piece of substrate by spin coating or dip coating. Other methods include spraying, electrophoresis, inkjet printing or roll coating. Optical coatings, protective and decorative coatings, and electro-optic components can be applied to glass, metal and other types of substrates with these methods. With the viscosity of a sol adjusted into a proper range, Polymerization process of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and water to both optical quality glass fiber and refractory form amorphous hydrated silica particles (Si-OH) can be monitored ceramic fiber can be drawn which are used for fiber rheologically by a number of different methods. optic sensors and thermal insulation, respectively. The mechanisms of hydrolysis and condensation, and the rheological factors that bias the structure toward linear or branched structures are the most critical issues of sol-gel science and technology.

Geophysics includes the flow of molten lava and debris flows (fluid mudslides). Also included in this disciplinary branch are solid Earth materials which only exhibit flow over extended time scales. Those that display viscous behavior are known as rheids. E.G. Granite can do a plastic flow with a vanishingly small yield stress, (i.e. a viscous flow). Long term creep experiments (~ 10 years) indicate that the viscosity of granite under ambient conditions is on the order of 1020 poises.[7]


Deep foundations are used for structures or heavy loads when shallow foundations cannot provide sufficient adequate capacity. They may also be used to transfer building loads past weak or compressible soil layers. While shallow foundations rely solely on the bearing capacity of the soil beneath them, deep foundations can rely on end bearing resistance, frictional resistance along their length, or both in developing the required capacity. Geotechnical engineers use specialized tools, such as the cone penetration test, to estimate the amount of skin and end bearing resistance available in the subsurface. In addition, pile driving is often used to check for stability in varying soil types such as clay, sand, gravels, fractured shale, etc. Geotechnical engineering (or 'soil engineering') often utilizes soil logs or bore logs to show what may be evidenced while driving piles through given stratum and soil lenses. Wave equations must often be employed when using vibratory or mechanical impact hammers. The harmonics set Piledriving for a bridge in Napa, California. up by vibratory or impact hammers drastically change the ability of given soils to create wall friction on a given pile type, as well as the elastic alteration or resistance to penetration in a normal state. Dynamic testing of soils may involve the attachment of transducers to pilings while they are being driven. In addition, theoretical bearing calculations using a nuclear densometer may be carried out in the field. In the end, a fairly simple linear equation may suffice to give a good approximation of the bearing capacity of the soil.

Physiology includes the study of many bodily fluids that have complex structure and composition, and thus exhibit a wide range of viscoelastic flow characteristics. In particular there is a specialist study of blood flow called hemorheology. This is the study of flow properties of blood and its elements (plasma and formed elements, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets). Blood viscosity is determined by plasma viscosity, hematocrit (volume fraction of red blood cell, which constitute 99.9% of the cellular elements) and mechanical behavior of red blood cells. Therefore, red blood cell mechanics is the major determinant of flow properties of blood.[8]

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Food rheology
Food rheology is important in the manufacture and processing of food products. Food rheology is the study of the rheological properties of food, that is, the consistency and flow of food under tightly specified conditions. The consistency, degree of fluidity, and other mechanical properties are important in understanding how long food can be stored, how stable it will remain, and in determining food texture. The acceptability of food products to the consumer is often determined by food texture, such as how spreadable and creamy a food product is. Food rheology is important in quality control during food manufacture and processing. Thickening agents, or thickeners, are substances which, when added to an aqueous mixture, increase its viscosity without substantially modifying its other properties, such as taste. They provide body, increase stability, and improve suspension of added ingredients. Thickening agents are often used as food additives and in cosmetics and personal hygiene products. Some thickening agents are gelling agents, forming a gel. The agents are materials used to thicken and stabilize liquid solutions, emulsions, and suspensions. They dissolve in the liquid phase as a colloid mixture that forms a weakly cohesive internal structure. Food thickeners frequently are based on either polysaccharides (starches, vegetable gums, and pectin), or proteins.[9]

Concrete rheology
Concrete's and mortar's workability is related to the rheological properties of the fresh cement paste. The mechanical properties of hardened concrete are better if less water is used in the preparation of concrete paste, however reducing the water-to-cement ratio may decrease the ease of mixing and application. To avoid these undesired effects, superplasticizers are typically added to decrease the apparent yield stress and the viscosity of the fresh paste. Their addition highly improves concrete and mortar properties.

Rheometers are instruments used to characterize the rheological properties of materials, typically fluids and melts. These instruments impose a specific stress field or deformation to the fluid, and monitor the resultant deformation or stress. Instruments can be run in steady flow or oscillatory flow, in both shear and extension.

Dimensionless numbers
Deborah number
When the rheological behavior of a material includes a transition from elastic to viscous as the time scale increases (or, more generally, a transition from a more resistant to a less resistant behavior), one may define the relevant time scale as a relaxation time of the material. Correspondingly, the ratio of the relaxation time of a material to the timescale of a deformation is called Deborah number. Small Deborah numbers correspond to situations where the material has time to relax (and behaves in a viscous manner), while high Deborah numbers correspond to situations where the material behaves rather elastically.[10] Note that the Deborah number is relevant for materials that flow on long time scales (like a Maxwell fluid) but not for the reverse kind of materials (KelvinVoigt_materials) that are viscous on short time scales but solid on the long term.


Reynolds number
In fluid mechanics, the Reynolds number is a measure of the ratio of inertial forces (vs) to viscous forces (/L) and consequently it quantifies the relative importance of these two types of effect for given flow conditions. Under low Reynolds numbers viscous effects dominate and the flow is laminar, whereas at high Reynolds numbers inertia predominates and the flow may be turbulent. However, since rheology is concerned with fluids which do not have a fixed viscosity, but one which can vary with flow and time, calculation of the Reynolds number can be complicated. It is one of the most important dimensionless numbers in fluid dynamics and is used, usually along with other dimensionless numbers, to provide a criterion for determining dynamic similitude. When two geometrically similar flow patterns, in perhaps different fluids with possibly different flow rates, have the same values for the relevant dimensionless numbers, they are said to be dynamically similar. Typically it is given as follows:

where: vs - mean fluid velocity, [m s1] L - characteristic length, [m] - (absolute) dynamic fluid viscosity, [N s m2] or [Pa s] - kinematic fluid viscosity: = / , [m s1] - fluid density, [kg m3].

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] W. R. Schowalter (1978) Mechanics of Non-Newtonian Fluids Pergamon ISBN 0-08-021778-8 J. F. Steffe (1996) Rheological Methods in Food Process Engineering 2nd ed ISBN 0-9632036-1-4 page 1 Barnes, Jonathan (1982). The presocratic philosophers. ISBN978-0415050791. Plato, Cratylus [402a (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 01. 0172:text=Crat. :section=402a)] By the term "streams", Plato implies physical quantities that change with respect to time Plato, Cratylus 402b (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts. edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 01. 0172:text=Crat. :section=402b) Kumagai, N., Sasajima, S., Ito, H., Long-term Creep of Rocks, J. Soc. Mat. Sci. (Japan), Vol. 27, p. 157 (1978) Online (http:/ / translate. google. com/ translate?hl=en& sl=ja& u=http:/ / ci. nii. ac. jp/ naid/ 110002299397/ & sa=X& oi=translate& resnum=4& ct=result& prev=/ search?q=Ito+ Hidebumi& hl=en) [8] Baskurt OK, Meiselman HJ (2003). "Blood rheology and hemodynamics". Seminars in Thrombosis and Haemostasis 29 (5): 435450. doi:10.1055/s-2003-44551. PMID14631543. [9] B.M. McKenna, and J.G. Lyng (2003). Texture in food > Introduction to food rheology and its measurement (http:/ / books. google. com/ ?id=wM1asp1LL8EC& pg=PA130& dq=Food+ Rheology& q=Food Rheology). ISBN9781855736733. . Retrieved 2009-09-18. [10] M. Reiner (1964) Physics Today volume 17 no 1 page 62 The Deborah Number

External links
The Origins of Rheology: A short historical excursion ( Origin_of_Rheology.pdf) by Deepak Doraiswamy, University of Sidney British Society of Rheology ( Australian Society of Rheology (

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