Polymeric fluids are extremely viscous. Thus, large forces and pressure drops are required to process them. These large pressure drops, combined with large viscosities, cause substantial viscous heating effects which give rise to large temperature gradients. Since the materials are very temperature sensitive, the flow field must be solved simultaneously with the temperature field for accurate predictions.

By combining standard numerical techniques for macroscopic balance equations, such as finite element methods, with microscopic stochastic simulations, such as Brownian dynamics, Professor Schieber’s research group uses kinetic theory models to predict flow fields, temperature fields, and concentration fields of polymeric liquids.

Polymeric materials possess very interesting thermodynamic properties during flow, which lead to vastly different energy governing equations. By generalizing the traditional approaches to non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, Professor Schieber’s group has made new strides in solving these problems in complex geometries.