Fiber suspensions often have complex rheology (shear-thinning) useful for a wide range of applications. The origin of the non-Newtonian behavior stems from fiber entanglement into flocs and networks. The central objective of fiber suspensions research is to relate fiber properties and interactions to suspension heterogeneities, which then impact macroscopic properties.
To access suspension structures, we employ fiber-level simulations by modeling fibers as linked rigid spheroids with joints allowing deformation around an equilibrium shape. The fibers experience frictional and attractive interactions along with hydrodynamic forces and torques. By solving numerically for the equations of motion, we obtain fiber positions and orientations, from which we then calculate macroscopic properties. Large scale simulations are enabled via CUDA parallel programming.
Simulation snapshot of a flocculated suspension
(12,800 fibers, 5 segments each)