The role of thermal diffusion, particle clusters, hydrodynamic and magnetic forces on the flow behaviour of magneto-polymer composites.

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In this paper, we study the shear-induced flow of magneto-polymer composites, consisting of dispersions of magnetic particles in solutions of polymers, as a competition between the colloidal forces amid particles and their bulk transport induced by the hydrodynamic forces. For this aim, we analyse the role of different experimental parameters. Firstly, by using only solutions of a well-known anionic polymer (sodium alginate), we provoke a moderate hindering of particle movement, but keeping the liquid-like state of the samples. On the contrary, a gel-like behaviour is conferred to the samples when a cationic polymer (chitosan) is additionally added, which further reduces the particle movement. We analyse the effect of an applied magnetic field, which is opposed to particle transport by hydrodynamic forces, by inducing magnetic attraction between the particles. We perform the analysis under both stationary and oscillatory shear. We show that by using dimensionless numbers the differences between samples and experimental conditions are emphasized. In all cases, as expected, the transport of particles driven by bulk hydrodynamic forces dominates at high values of the shear rate. This article is part of the theme issue 'Transport phenomena in complex systems (part 1)'.
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Péclet number, magnetic particles, polymer solution, rheology, viscoelasticity, viscosity