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ITL/EL Team Awarded 30M Hours of Supercomputer Time to Study Properties of Dense Suspensions

February 2013

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a team of researchers from ITL and EL 30 million hours of computer time for calendar year 2013 to support the study of the flow properties of large-particle dense suspensions such as concrete. The award is for the third of a three-year, peer-reviewed proposal to DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program ( Highly detailed simulations of suspensions, comprising many thousands of particles with a wide range of sizes and shapes suspended in a non-Newtonian fluid matrix, are enhancing our understanding of fundamental rheological properties such as viscosity versus strain rate, in non-analytical rheometer and mixing geometries. These properties currently cannot be measured accurately in industrial settings.  The results of these simulations are also being used in the design of NIST standard reference materials for suspension rheology. 

Not only will this work solve a critical outstanding problem in the cement and concrete industry, but it will also have an enormous influence on the wide array of industries that use vane rheometers and mixers such as food processing, water treatment, coatings, and pharmaceuticals.  The research team includes William George, Marc Olano, Steven Satterfield, and Judith Terrill of ITL, Nicos Martys and Edward Garboczi of EL, and Pascal Hebraud of CNRS/ESPCI (France). Simulations will be run in the Leadership Computing Facility of Argonne National Laboratory on Intrepid, an IBM Blue Gene/P system and on their newest machine Mira, an IBM Blue Gene/Q, which is currently number 3 in the “Top 500” list of supercomputer installations (

Contact: William George (ITL), 301 975 4943