Complex Fluids and Flow Processes
The Rheology research group is mainly interested in the flow behaviour of elastico-viscous liquids, namely materials that are predominantly fluid in behaviour but have some of the elastic properties usually associated with solids. These "elastic effects" are present in a variety of liquids including foams, emulsions, polymer solutions and various materials associated with the food and pharmaceutical industries. Some of the research activity of the group is concerned with the problem of formulating equations to describe the behaviour of elastico-viscous liquids, but the main effort involves the analytical and numerical solution of flow problems in an attempt to predict the important flow characteristics which are likely to be present in the behaviour of real liquids. There is particular interest in the rheology of foods, printing inks and in high shear-rate high temperature processes such as those that occur in fuel injectors, etc.The theoretical work is supported by a corresponding experimental programme. The facilities in this connection are excellent, with ample space in the Complex Fluids Laboratory and sufficient financial support from various outside sources.
Research students in rheology and computational fluid dynamics benefit from the full resources of the Institute of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics whose Director is Professor K Walters, FRS. The Institute links research personnel at Aberystwyth, Swansea and Cardiff. The aims of the Institute are: enhanced collaboration between the three centres, the development of strong ties with industry by offering a wide spectrum of expertise, the sharing of state of the art computing facilities and the organisation of workshops and research meetings.