Shear stress

frictional force overcome in sliding one “layer” of fluid along another, as in any fluid flow. The shear stress of a petroleum oil or other Newtonian fluid at a given temperature varies directly with shear rate (velocity). The ratio between shear stress and shear rate is constant; this ratio is termed viscosity of a Newtonian fluid, the greater the shear stress as a function of rate of shear. In a non-Newtonian fluid — such as a grease or a polymer-containing oil (e.g. multi-grade oil) — shear stress is not proportional to the rate of shear. A non-Newtonian fluid may be said to have an apparent viscosity, a viscosity that holds only for the shear rate (and temperature) at which the viscosity is determined.

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