Foamability of complex fluids : dynamic of bubble formation in yield stress fluids using confined geometries

Abstract : We study the formation of bubbles inside yield stress fluids (liquid when the applied stress is above the yield stress, and solid otherwise) using mill fluidic geometries (T-junctions, flow focusing devices) made of axisymmetric channels, and manufactured by stereo lithography. We show that dispersing bubbles in simple yield stress fluids (concentrated emulsions, and carbopol gels) is possible by taking advantage of the yield stress over the capillary stress, and due to the squeezing of the gas thread by the core of the yield stress fluid flow at imposed flow rate. The observed behaviour is reminiscent of the geometrical operating regime in 2D flow-focusing devices for Newtonian fluids. We investigate the different operating regimes that occur when the yield stress fluid flow rate and the gas pressure are imposed. We report that, for these inlet conditions the production is unsteady, which comes from the hydrodynamic feedback induced by the formation of each bubble on the gas flow rate. The regime eventually breaks down when all bubbles coalesce. This is due to the transfer between the liquid plugs separating each bubble and the thin film located on the channel wall. Thus, we study the deposition of yield stress fluid on the wall of capillary tubes. Indeed, this often occurs for yield stress fluids flowing in confined geometries on smooth surfaces. The results with no-slip are well described by a classical scaling law (internal stresses balanced by capillary pressure gradient). When there is wall slip, we show that there are three regimes that depend on the stress state of the system, and set the bubbles' shape observed for unsteady regimes. Finally, different regulation methods (pressure, pulsated flows) allow to obtain steady regimes. They are characterized (gas volume fraction, bubble formation time) and we show that they allow to obtain yield stress fluid foams. Thus, identifying pathways for potential steady-state controlled production of aerated yield stress fluids at large scale
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Benoît Laborie. Foamability of complex fluids : dynamic of bubble formation in yield stress fluids using confined geometries. Fluids mechanics [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Est, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015PESC1103⟩. ⟨tel-01280181⟩

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