# Brief Information About Non-Newtonian Fluids and Their Properties

Named after the famous physicist and mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton, non-Newtonian fluids do not follow his observations made in his work classified as the Newtonian mechanics. Here's some information on these fluids, their properties and applications.

Anamika Kumari

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2018

The Mystery of Quicksand

Quicksand is an example of non-Newtonian fluid, whose viscosity increases with the decrease in rate of stress being applied and vice-versa. This is why it obstructs the rapid panicky movements of any object or body inside it. The trick to get out of quicksand is to move slowly towards a safe edge.

What is a Non-Newtonian Fluid?

To understand the concept of non-Newtonian fluids it is very important to have a clear understanding of the Newtonian fluids in the first place.

Properties

**Mathematically,**

*η = K γn-1*

where, K = flow consistency index (of the material)

n = flow behavior index

where, K = flow consistency index (of the material)

n = flow behavior index

The properties of fluids are defined by the flow behavior index, n. If,

*n < 1 for Pseudoplastics*

n = 1 Newtonian fluid

n > 1 for Dilatants

n = 1 Newtonian fluid

n > 1 for Dilatants

Thixotropy

Pseudoplastics, or thixotropic plastics, are the fluids that experience a decrease in their viscosity with respect to the time for which shear stress was being applied on them.

Rheopecty

Dilatant materials are those whose shear stress depends solely on the time of its application. Viscosity in dilatants increases with the increase in time duration for which the shear stress was maintained upon the fluid. This behavior in fluids is termed rheopecty.

Shear thinning

One of the properties of some non-Newtonian fluids is shear thinning.

Shear thickening

Contrary to the shear thinning behavior exhibited by some non-Newtonian fluids, there are quite a few fluids that tend to behave like solids due to the large size of its constituting particles under swift stress. While slow and delayed movement helps the particles to flow.

Bingham plastics

Bingham plastics are those materials that have a linear shear stress vs shear rate characteristics.

Examples of Non-Newtonian Fluids

Some Other Examples

✤ Oobleck

✤ Plant resin

✤ Paints

✤ Blood

✤ Whipped cream

✤ Plant resin

✤ Paints

✤ Blood

✤ Whipped cream

Applications

✤ To provide a flexible foundation to the built structures in earthquake prone areas to reduce the impact of the vibrations on the construction during an earthquake.

✤ Use for recreational and educational purposes.