The role of elasticity in thixotropy: Transient elastic stress during stepwise reduction in shear rate

Physics of Fluids, Volume 33, Issue 3, March 2021. Despite the wide-spread use and importance of thixotropic materials, accurate theoretical descriptions are still limited to a handful of model transient flow conditions. We employ an iterative series of tests to experimentally probe the complex dynamics exhibited by thixotropic materials. We use flow cessation tests to identify transient elastic stresses during stress jump tests. It is shown that the evolution of the elastic stress closely follows that of total stress in the series of stress jump tests, indicating that elasticity is a significant contributor to thixotropy.