Rheology unites the seemingly unrelated fields of plasticity and non-Newtonian fluids by recognizing that both these types of materials are unable to support a shear stress in static equilibrium. In this sense, a plastic solid is a fluid. Granular rheology refers to the continuum mechanical description of granular materials.
In this book, rheology—the study of the deformation and flow of matter—is treated primarily in the context of the stresses generated during the flow of complex materials such as polymers, colloids, foams, and gels. A rapidly growing and industrially important field, it plays a significant role in polymer processing, food processing, coating and printing, and many other manufacturing processes.