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We investigate mixing in a viscoelastic and shear-thinning fluid—a very common combination in polymers and suspensions. We find that competition between elastic and viscous forces generates self-similar mixing, lobe transport, and other characteristics of chaos. The mechanism by which chaos is produced is evaluated both in experiments and in a simple model. We find that chaotic flow is generated by spontaneous oscillations, the magnitude and frequency of which govern the extent of chaos and mixing.
Date Posted: 12 August 2010
This document has been peer reviewed.