Non-Newtonian behavior and molecular structure of Cooee bitumen under shear flow: A non-equilibrium molecular dynamics study

Claire Lemarchand, Nicholas Bailey, Peter Daivis, Billy Todd, Jesper Schmidt Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The rheology and molecular structure of a model bitumen (Cooee bitumen) under shear are investigated in the non-Newtonian regime using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. The shear viscosity, normal stress differences, and pressure of the bitumen mixture are computed at different shear rates and different temperatures. The model bitumen is shown to be a shear-thinning fluid at all temperatures. In addition, the Cooee model is able to reproduce experimental results showing the formation of nanoaggregates composed of stacks of flat aromatic molecules in bitumen. These nanoaggregates are immersed in a solvent of saturated hydrocarbon molecules. At a fixed temperature, the shear-shinning behavior is related not only to the inter- and intramolecular alignments of the solvent molecules but also to the decrease of the average size of the nanoaggregates at high shear rates. The variation of the viscosity with temperature at different shear rates is also related to the size and relative composition of the nanoaggregates. The slight anisotropy of the whole sample due to the nanoaggregates is considered and quantified. Finally, the position of bitumen mixtures in the broad literature of complex systems such as colloidal suspensions, polymer solutions, and associating polymer networks is discussed
Original languageEnglish
Article number244501
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume142
ISSN0021-9606
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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