Microscale rheology of a soft glassy material close to yielding

Using confocal microscopy, we study the flow of a model soft glassy material: a concentrated emulsion. We demonstrate the micro-macro link between in-situ measured movements of droplets during the flow and the macroscopic rheological response of a concentrated emulsion, in the form of scaling relationships connecting the rheological « fluidity » with local standard deviation of the strain-rate tensor. Furthermore, we measure correlations between these local fluctuations, thereby extracting a correlation length which increases while approaching the yielding transition, in accordance with recent theoretical predictions.

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