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“Viscosity is the most ubiquitous dissipative mechanical behavior” (Maugin, 1999). Despite its ubiquity, even for those systems where the mechanisms causing viscous and other forms of dissipation are known there are only a few quantitative models that extract the macroscopic rheological response from these microscopic mechanisms. One such mechanism is the stochastic breaking and forming of bonds which is present in polymer networks with transient cross-links, strong inter-layer bonding between graphene sheets, and sliding dry friction. In this paper we utilize a simple yet flexible model to show analytically how stochastic bonds can induce an array of rheological behaviors at the macroscale. We find that varying the bond interactions induces a Maxwell-type macroscopic material behavior with Newtonian viscosity, shear thinning, shear thickening, or solid like friction when subjected to shear at constant rates. When bond rupture is independent of the force applied, Newtonian viscosity is the predominant behavior. When bond breaking is accelerated by the applied force, a shear thinning response becomes most prevalent. Further connections of the macroscopic response to the interaction potential and rates of bonding and unbonding are illustrated through phase diagrams and analysis of limiting cases. Finally, we apply this model to polymer networks and tomore »
When a colloidal suspension is dried, capillary pressure may overwhelm repulsive electrostatic forces, assembling aggregates that are out of thermal equilibrium. This poorly understood process confers cohesive strength to many geological and industrial materials. Here we observe evaporation-driven aggregation of natural and synthesized particulates, probe their stability under rewetting, and measure bonding strength using an atomic force microscope. Cohesion arises at a common length scale (∼5 μm), where interparticle attractive forces exceed particle weight. In polydisperse mixtures, smaller particles condense within shrinking capillary bridges to build stabilizing “solid bridges” among larger grains. This dynamic repeats across scales, forming remarkably strong, hierarchical clusters, whose cohesion derives from grain size rather than mineralogy. These results may help toward understanding the strength and erodibility of natural soils, and other polydisperse particulates that experience transient hydrodynamic forces.