Optimal conditions for pre-shearing thixotropic or aging soft materials

Jiho Choi, Simon A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pre-shearing is widely recognized as a necessary step to guarantee repeatability in rheological studies of thixotropic or aging soft materials. When one-directional pre-shear protocols are used, unrecovered elastic strain which leads to biased material states that are not always relaxed because of the build-up of structure during the relaxation process. We propose a way of guaranteeing unbiased material states by incorporating recovery steps, consisting of steps of strain opposing the initial direction of shearing, into any pre-shear protocol. Using such a multi-step pre-shear protocol, we show that it is possible to produce identical results from shearing in the positive and negative directions for the same magnitude of rate after pre-shearing. We further show how this idea of unbiased material states can be used to obtain unbiased results for other fundamental rheological experiments such as flow curves and frequency sweeps. By performing the new pre-shear protocol for every single measurement point of a flow curve or frequency sweep, it is possible to obtain data which is not affected by previous data collection, which leads to material responses with simple and clear shear histories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-934
Number of pages14
JournalRheologica Acta
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Aging
  • Hysteresis
  • Pre-shear
  • Recoverable strain
  • Thixotropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal conditions for pre-shearing thixotropic or aging soft materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this