YIELD-stress fluids beyond Bingham – closing the GAP in modelling real-world yield-stress materials
|Grant agreement ID: 955605||Grant agreement signed|
1 January 2021
31 December 2024
|Overall budget € 3 204 390,24|
‘Stubborn’ materials yield to the momentum of enthusiastic young researchers
Materials like toothpaste, mayonnaise, cement and mud are not commonly thought of as fluids by most of us. However, in the realm of materials science, these materials are called ‘yield-stress fluids’: they ‘flow’ only if a large enough shear stress is exerted on them, causing them to yield to it and start moving rather than simply deforming elastically. Understanding yield-stress fluids is important in conventional sectors, such as food processing and construction, and is growing as related to new technologies, such as 3D printing. However, despite their ubiquity and importance, the current theories describing their flow characteristics hold true only under very basic conditions and their experimental study is still quite challenging. YIELDGAP is establishing an innovative training network uniting academic and industrial experts with bright young researchers to advance models and experimental methods in the field of yield-stress fluids.
Industries based on yield-stress fluids are rapidly expanding in Europe, including key traditional sectors (food, building, paper) and key emerging technologies (advanced materials, advanced manufacturing). The European Parliament has called for investment on these sectors, but so far complex fluid processes in these industries are far from understood, as the research has generally been small scale and/or technologically flawed. In particular: the poor understanding of yield-stress fluid rheology and linking of the measured parameters to the yield properties and insufficient models, means that applications are designed without the understanding of even the basic flow properties (no-flow zones, pressure needed to initiate flow), which introduces uncertainties and errors; there is a serious shortage of research trained professionals who combine expertise on complex fluid research, technology and industrial needs. In conjunction with ESR the largest network in Europe in rheology, this ITN will: develop a European multi-disciplinary, intersectoral educational research framework for Europe, to comprehensively train 12 early stage researchers (ESRs) to PhD level; provide the research evidence to show how modern measurement and modelling methods may improve the cost- and resource-efficiency of industrial processes; provide the European workforce with a much needed new generation of excellent research trained professionals. The scientific objectives of YIELDGAP covered by the 4 research workpackages are to: establish advanced and highly improved numerical modelling tools of complex fluids including additives; validate models by lab and field measurements; integrate measured fluid properties with model parameters; build and disseminate best practices for industry and academia. Using advanced methods where the YIELDGAP partners are world leading, the work of this ITN will culminate in international consensus guidelines for yield-stress fluid flow measurement and prediction.