Journal article

Granular suspension avalanches. II. Plastic regime

We present flume experiments showing plastic behavior for perfectly density-matched suspensions of non-Brownian particles within a Newtonian fluid. In contrast with most earlier experimental investigations (carried out using coaxial cylinder rheometers), we obtained our rheological information by studying thin films of suspension flowing down an inclined flume. Using particles with the same refractive index as the interstitial fluid made it possible to measure the velocity field far from the wall using a laser-optical system. At long times, a stick-slip regime occurred as soon as the fluid pressure dropped sufficiently for the particle pressure to become compressive. Our explanation was that the drop in fluid pressure combined with the surface tension caused the flow to come to rest by significantly increasing flow resistance. However, the reason why the fluid pressure diffused through the pores during the stick phases escaped our understanding of suspension rheology.

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