Phenomena

Thixotropic and Rheopectic Fluids

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There’s more to non-Newtonian fluids than shear-thickening and shear-thinning. The viscosity of some fluids can also change with time under constant shear. A fluid that becomes progressively less viscous when shaken or agitated is called thixotropic. The opposite (and less common) behavior is a fluid that becomes more viscous under constant agitation; this is known as a rheopectic fluid. This video demonstrates both types of fluids using a rotating rod as the agitator. The rheopectic fluid actually appears to climb the rod–similar to the Weissenberg effect–while the thixotropic fluid moves away from the rod.

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