Modelling of pastes as viscous soils – lubricated squeeze flow

Milan Patel, Stuart Blackburn, D. Ian Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Lubricated squeeze flow tests were conducted on a model saturated ballotini paste prepared with a viscous Newtonian binder. Tests were conducted at plate speeds spanning two decades. The tests were simulated using a two-dimensional (2 D) axisymmetric finite element model with adaptive remeshing used to circumvent mesh distortion. The paste was modelled as a viscoplastic soil (Drucker-Prager) to capture both rate-dependent effects at high shear rates and liquid phase migration (LPM) at low shear rates. Capillary pressure was applied at the evolving free surface and the plate surfaces were modelled as frictionless for simplicity. Reasonable agreement was obtained between the measured and predicted squeezing pressure profiles at the highest solids volume fraction tested (ϕs = 60%). Agreement was poor at the lowest ϕs (52.5%), which was due to this paste formulation behaving as a suspension/slurry without a distinct yield stress. For the first time, the predicted squeezing pressure was resolved into components using an energy analysis which showed that the squeezing pressure was dominated by the work required to deform the paste in the gap. This result is specific to highly viscoplastic pastes and persisted to small plate separations when most of the sample lay outside the plates. Characterisation of the yield stress from the ‘shoulder’ in the squeezing pressure profile was reasonably accurate at h/h0 ≥ 96% (9% estimated error). LPM was neither observed nor predicted at the plate speeds tested due to the high binder viscosity and the zero dilation angle in the simulations. The flow field was characterised using a novel flow mode parameter derived from the shear rate tensor. The paste was predicted to undergo pure biaxial extension between the smooth plates, pure uniaxial extension external to the plates, and (briefly) pure shear at the boundary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-268
Number of pages19
JournalPowder Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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