Effect of Temperature on the Shear-Thickening Behavior of Fumed Silica Suspensions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Shear-thickening fluids (STFs) can be subjected to a significant temperature variation in many applications. Polymeric or oligomeric fluids are commonly used as suspending media for STFs. Because the viscosities of polymeric fluids are strongly temperature-dependent, large temperature changes can profoundly affect the shear-thickening responses. Here, the effect of temperature on the shear-thickening behavior of four low-molecular-weight polymeric glycols/fumed silica suspensions is reported. The dispersed-phase volume fraction, its surface chemistry, and the chemical compositions of the suspending media were varied. These factors influence the viscosity and the interactions between the suspended particles and the suspending media. Fumed silica particles with two different silanol-group surface densities were suspended in the polymeric glycols, where these silanol surface groups formed hydrogen bonds with the suspending media's glycols and internal oxygen atoms. Steady-shear experiments were performed over a temperature range spanning approximately 100 C. The critical shear rate for the onset of shear thickening decreased with decreasing temperature. The critical shear rates were inversely proportional to the viscosity of the pure suspending media over these same temperature ranges. The response of STFs to varying both the temperature and shear rate investigated here will help to design application-specific STFs. Mitigation of a hypervelocity (6.81 km/s) impact on an aluminum facesheet sandwich composite filled with one of these STFs was demonstrated.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Warren, J., Offenberger, S., Toghiani, H., Pittman, C. U., Lacy, T. E., & Kundu, S.

complete list of authors

  • Warren, Justin||Offenberger, Sean||Toghiani, Hossein||Pittman, Charles U||Lacy, Thomas E||Kundu, Santanu

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM