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A fundamental difference between fluids and solids is their response to applied shear. Solids possess static shear moduli, while fluids do not. Complex fluids such as foams display an intermediate response to shear with nontrivial frequency-dependent shear moduli. In this paper, we conduct coordinated experiments and numerical simulations of model foams subjected to boundary-driven oscillatory planar shear. Our studies are performed on bubble rafts (experiments) and the bubble model (simulations) in two dimensions. We focus on the low amplitude flow regime in which T1 events, i.e., bubble rearrangement events where originally touching bubbles switch nearest neighbors, do not occur, yet the system transitions from solid- to liquidlike behavior as the driving frequency is increased. In both simulations and experiments, we observe two distinct flow regimes. At low frequencies ω, the velocity profile of the bubbles increases linearly with distance from the stationary wall, and there is a nonzero total phase shift between the moving boundary and interior bubbles. In this frequency regime, the total phase shift scales as a power law ∆~ωn with n ≈ 3. In contrast, for frequencies above a crossover frequency ω>ωp, the total phase shift ∆ scales linearly with the driving frequency. At even higher frequencies above a characteristic frequency ωnl>ωp, the velocity profile changes from linear to nonlinear. We fully characterize this transition from solid- to liquidlike flow behavior in both the simulations and experiments and find qualitative and quantitative agreements for the characteristic frequencies.
Date Posted: 06 January 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.