Non-Newtonian fluids are those that exhibit flow properties that are different than Newtonian fluids. These types of fluids typically have a viscosity which depends upon the shear rate of the fluid.
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- While most fluids show little resistance when a sheer stress is applied, non-Newtonian fluids provide a resistance that is proportional to the sheer stress applied. This is a result of the particles that are held in suspension in the fluid. As a result, the liquid behaves more like a solid than a liquid when the shear rate is increased. The shear stress is defined as the ratio of the shear force to the area it is applied too.
- The behavior of non-Newtonian fluids is dependent upon many parameters such as particle size, particle distribution and particle volume fraction. When a sufficient shear stress is applied to a non-Newtonian fluid the particles inside jam up like too many people trying to get through a single doorway. This jam up causes an increase in the viscosity of the fluid.
- Chances are you used or played with non-Newtonian fluids but never realized it. Everyday examples include: silly putty, corn starch and water and even some brake pads. Recent advancements in the study of non-Newtonian fluids even suggest that it could be used as a form of body armor in the near future.
- Watch the Time Warp crew video Non-Newtonian fluids in slow motion:
- Watch the Mythbuster walk on water using Non-Newtonian fluid:
Using the information provided above, answer the following questions.
- Would ketchup be a non-Newtonian fluid? Why?
- In both of the videos above, why did the hosts have to move quickly across the surface of the liquid?
- Would quicksand be a Newtonian or a non-Newtonian fluid?