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Journal Articles Soft Matter Year : 2010

The yielding dynamics of a colloidal gel

Thomas Gibaud
Damien Frelat
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Attractive colloidal gels display a solid-to-fluid transition as shear stresses above the yield stress are applied. This shear-induced transition is involved in virtually any application of colloidal gels. It is also crucial for controlling material properties. Still, in spite of its ubiquity, the yielding transition is far from understood, mainly because rheological measurements are spatially averaged over the whole sample. Here, the instrumentation of creep and oscillatory shear experiments with high-frequency ultrasound opens new routes to observing the local dynamics of opaque attractive colloidal gels. The transition proceeds from the cell walls and heterogeneously fluidizes the whole sample with a characteristic time whose variations with applied stress suggest the existence of an energy barrier linked to the gelation process. The present results provide new test grounds for computer simulations and theoretical calculations in the attempt to better understand the yielding transition. The versatility of the technique should also allow extensive mesoscopic studies of rupture mechanisms in soft solids ranging from crystals to glassy materials.
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ensl-00429791 , version 1 (04-11-2009)



Thomas Gibaud, Damien Frelat, Sébastien Manneville. The yielding dynamics of a colloidal gel. Soft Matter, 2010, 6 (15), pp.3482-3488. ⟨10.1039/c000886a⟩. ⟨ensl-00429791⟩
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