Particle dynamics modeling methods for colloid suspensions

D. S. Bolintineanu, G. S. Grest, J. B. Lechman, F. Pierce, S. J. Plimpton, and P. R. Schunk, Computational Particle Mechanics, 1, 321-356 (2014).

We present a review and critique of several meth- ods for the simulation of the dynamics of colloidal sus- pensions at the mesoscale. We focus particularly on simu- lation techniques for hydrodynamic interactions, including implicit solvents (Fast Lubrication Dynamics, an approxi- mation to Stokesian Dynamics) and explicit/particle-based solvents (Multi-Particle Collision Dynamics and Dissipative Particle Dynamics). Several variants of each method are com- pared quantitatively for the canonical system of monodis- perse hard spheres, with a particular focus on diffusion char- acteristics, as well as shear rheology and microstructure. In all cases, we attempt to match the relevant properties of a well-characterized solvent, which turns out to be challeng- ing for the explicit solvent models. Reasonable quantitative agreement is observed among all methods, but overall the Fast Lubrication Dynamics technique shows the best accu- racy and performance. We also devote significant discussion to the extension of these methods to more complex situa- tions of interest in industrial applications, including models for non-Newtonian solvent rheology, non-spherical particles, drying and curing of solvent and flows in complex geome- tries. This work identifies research challenges and motivates future efforts to develop techniques for quantitative, predic- tive simulations of industrially relevant colloidal suspension processes.

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