The sedimentation velocity of colloidal dispersions is known from experiment and theory at dilute concentrations to be quite sensitive to the interparticle potential with attractions/repulsions increasing/decreasing the rate significantly at intermediate volume fractions. Since the differences necessarily disappear at close packing, this implies a substantial maximum in the rate for attractions. This paper describes the derivation of a robust upper bound on the velocity that reflects these trends quantitatively and motivates wider application of a simple theory formulated for hard spheres. The treatment pertains to sedimentation velocities slow enough that Brownian motion sustains an equilibrium microstructure without large-scale inhomogeneities in density.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- low-Reynolds-number flows