Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, Vol.238, 57-64, 2016
Viscoplastic dimensionless numbers
In the present paper we analyze the dimensionless numbers that concern the flow of viscoplastic materials. The Bingham material is used to conduct the main discussion but the ideas are generalized to more complex viscoplastic models at the end of the article. Although one can explore the space of solutions with a set of dimensionless numbers where only one of them takes into account the yield stress, like the Bingham number for example, we recommend that the characteristic stress should be defined as the extra-stress intensity evaluated at a characteristic (maximum) deformation rate. Such a definition includes the yield stress in every dimensionless number that is related to viscous effects like the Reynolds number, the viscosity ratio, and the Rayleigh number. This procedure was shown to be more effective on collapsing data into master curves and to provide a fairer comparison with the Newtonian case. This happens because a more representative viscous effect is taken into account, concentrating the plastic effects into a single parameter. The plastic number, the ratio of the yield stress to the maximum stress of the domain, is shown to better capture plastic effects than the usual Bingham number. The analysis of problems where a characteristic stress, but not a characteristic velocity, is provided, indicates that a more representative characteristic velocity should be defined with respect to the driving potential for the motion, i.e., the difference between the characteristic and yield stresses. This method is in contrast to the majority of the literature, where for Bingham materials, the dimensionless numbers are maintained in the same form as the original Newtonian ones, replacing the Newtonian viscosity by the viscous parameter of the Bingham model. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.