© 2015

Impact-Activated Solidification of Cornstarch and Water Suspensions


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Scott R. Waitukaitis
    Pages 1-12
  3. Scott R. Waitukaitis
    Pages 33-45
  4. Scott R. Waitukaitis
    Pages 57-60
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 61-88

About this book


This thesis approaches impact resistance in dense suspensions from a new perspective. The most well-known example of dense suspensions, a mixture of cornstarch and water, provides enough impact resistance to allow a person to run across its surface. In the past, this phenomenon had been linked to "shear thickening" under a steady shear state attributed to hydrodynamic interactions or granular dilation. However, neither explanation accounted for the stress scales required for a person to run on the surface.

Through this research, it was discovered that the impact resistance is due to local compression of the particle matrix. This compression forces the suspension across the jamming transition and precipitates a rapidly growing solid mass. This growing solid, as a result, absorbs the impact energy. This is the first observation of such jamming front, linking nonlinear suspension dynamics in a new way to the jamming phase transition known from dry granular materials.


Award-winning PhD Thesis Cornstarch and Water Suspension Mix Dense Suspensions Dynamic Jamming Fronts Impact Response of Dense Suspensions Impact-driven Solidification New Research in Dense Suspensions Nonlinear Suspension Dynamics Shear Thickening Suspensions Solidification of Cornstarch and Water

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The James Franck Institute and The Department of PhysicsUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Bibliographic information

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