Wiest, John M. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Last reviewed:March 2021
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- Definition of a fluid
- Counterintuitive behavior
- Non-Newtonian viscosity
- Nonlinear effects
- Constitutive relations
- Generalized Newtonian fluid
- Requirements and generalizations
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A fluid that departs from the classic linear Newtonian relation between stress and shear rate. In contrast to Newtonian fluids, non-Newtonian fluids can become either thicker or thinner when stress is applied. Many of the fluids encountered in everyday life (such as water, air, and gasoline) are adequately described as being Newtonian. Common examples of non-Newtonian fluids include ketchup, mayonnaise, peanut butter, toothpaste (Fig. 1), liquid soaps, and multigrade engine oils. Other examples such as molten polymers and slurries are of considerable technological importance. A distinguishing feature of many non-Newtonian fluids is that they have microscopic or molecular-level structures that can be rearranged substantially in flow. See also: Air; Gasoline; Particle flow; Polymer; Water
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