The archetypal feature of a viscoplastic fluid is its yield stress: If the material is not sufficiently stressed, it behaves like a solid, but once the yield stress is exceeded, the material flows like a fluid. Such behavior characterizes materials common in industries such as petroleum and chemical processing, cosmetics, and food processing and in geophysical fluid dynamics. The most common idealization of a viscoplastic fluid is the Bingham model, which has been widely used to rationalize experimental data, even though it is a crude oversimplification of true rheological behavior. The popularity of the model is in its apparent simplicity. Despite this, the sudden transition between solid-like behavior and flow introduces significant complications into the dynamics, which, as a result, has resisted much analysis. Over recent decades, theoretical developments, both analytical and computational, have provided a better understanding of the effect of the yield stress. Simultaneously, greater insight into the material behavior of real fluids has been afforded by advances in rheometry. These developments have primed us for a better understanding of the various applications in the natural and engineering sciences.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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