We present results from a combined numerical and experimental investigation into the squeeze flow induced when a solid sphere impacts onto a thin, ultra-viscous film of non-Newtonian fluid. We examine both the sphere motion through the liquid as well as the fluid flow field in the region directly beneath the sphere during approach to a solid plate. In the experiments we use silicone oil as the model fluid, which is well-described by the Carreau model. We use high-speed imaging and particle tracking to achieve flow visualisation within the film itself and derive the corresponding velocity fields. We show that the radial velocity either diverges as the gap between the sphere and the wall diminishes (Z tip → 0) or that it reaches a maximum value and then decays rapidly to zero as the sphere comes to rest at a non-zero distance (Z tip = Z min ) away from the wall. The horizontal shear rate is calculated and is responsible for significant viscosity reduction during the approach of the sphere. Our model of this flow, based on lubrication theory, is solved numerically and compared to experimental trials. We show that our model is able to correctly describe the physical features of the flow observed in the experiments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics