Simulations of thixotropic liquids

J. J. Derksen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In thixotropic liquids the rheological properties depend on the liquid's deformation history. Clay suspensions (as encountered in oil sands mining) are a prominent example. Activated clay particles form a network. As a consequence of (ionic) transport limitations, the network is not an instantaneous feature: it takes time to build up, and also to break down, the latter as a result of deformation in the liquid. In this paper a procedure for detailed simulations of flow of viscous thixotropic liquids is outlined. The local viscosity of the liquid relates to the level of integrity of the network The time-dependence of the liquid's rheology is due to the finite rate with which the network in the liquid builds up or breaks down. This concept has been incorporated in a lattice-Boltzmann discretization of the flow equations. With this methodology the way thixotropic liquids are mobilized in mixing tanks and the drag force experienced by dense assemblies of coarse particles (e.g. sand) in thixotropic liquids have been studied. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1665
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Thixotropy
  • Rheology
  • Lattice-Boltzmann
  • Agitation
  • Solid-liquid suspensions
  • Drag force
  • FLOW

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