Project: TurEmu - The physics of (turbulent) emulsions

Prace Call: 17th
ID: 2018184340, Leader: Federico Toschi
Affiliation: Eindhoven University of Technology, NL
Research Field: Engineering
Collaborators: Gianluca Di Staso Eindhoven University of Technology NL , Abheeti Goyal Eindhoven University of Technology NL , Pinaki Kumar Eindhoven University of Technology NL , Xiao Xue Eindhoven University of Technology NL , Ivan Girotto International Centre for Theoretical Physics IT , Sebastiano Fabio Schifano Università degli Studi di Ferrara IT , Roberto Benzi Università di Roma Tor Vergata IT , Xiaowen Shan Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) CN
Resource Awarded: 40 Mil. core hours on Marconi - KNL


Multi-component fluids are extremely common in industrial as well as natural processes and, in particular, multi-component emulsions are an important ingredient of many foods and cosmetics. Emulsions are fascinating systems from the point of view of fundamental science and in partic-ular for fluid dynamic phenomenology. Ordinary substances, such as mayonnaise or ketchup, are good examples of complex fluids that can display a surprisingly rich phenomenology, typi-cal of soft-glassy materials. These complex fluids can behave either as solids (below the yield stress) or as fluids (above the yield stress). Above the yield stress, when these complex fluids flow, their rheological properties can be complex and non-Newtonian; below the yield stress, the statistical physics of localized topological rearrangements (plastic events) give rise to ava-lanches that closely resembles the behaviour of earthquakes. In this project we will employ highly optimized computational codes, based on the multicomponent Lattice Boltzmann model (LBM), to explore the physics of complex fluid emulsions: from their production, via turbulent stirring, to their (statistical) behaviour under flowing as well as resting conditions. The large produced database will allow to explore the process of turbulent emulsification in great details, including individual breakup and coalescence processes between emulsion droplets and the temporal changes in the macroscopic rheological properties of the complex fluid, as a function of the varying internal emulsion structure and of the build-up of yield stress. Once emulsions are formed, we will study their temporal dynamics both below as well as above the yield stress. Below yield our simulations will allow to explore, for the first time ever in 3d, the statistical physics of avalanches, thus paving the way to a deeper understanding of avalanche physics, including the causal-connection between different plastic events, and the relation between our model system and the physics of earthquakes aftershocks. Additionally, our study may allow to develop phenomenological macroscopic models for the behaviour of complex fluids, potentially of great relevance for the simulations of emulsification in industrial processes.