Rheologica Acta

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 450–460

Characterization of micellar structure dynamics for a drag-reducing surfactant solution under shear: normal stress studies and flow geometry effects

  • Yuntao Hu
  • Eric F. Matthys
Original Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/BF00396558

Cite this article as:
Hu, Y. & Matthys, E.F. Rheola Acta (1995) 34: 450. doi:10.1007/BF00396558


Some surfactant solutions have been observed to exhibit a strong drag reduction behavior in turbulent flow. This effect is generally believed to result from the formation of large cylindrical micelles or micellar structures. To characterize and understand better these fluids, we have studied the transient rheological properties of an efficient drag-reducing aqueous solution: tris (2-hydroxyethyl) tallowalkyl ammonium acetate (TTAA) with added sodium salicylate (NaSal) as counter ion. For a 5/5 mM equimolar TTAA/NaSal solution, there is no measurable first normal stress difference (N1) immediately after the inception of shear, but N1 begins to increase after a well-defined induction time — presumably as shear-induced structures (SIS) are formed — and it finally reaches a fluctuating plateau region where its average value is two orders of magnitude larger than that of the shear stress. The SIS buildup times obtained by first normal stress measurements were approximately inversely proportional to the shear rate, which is consistent with a kinetic process during which individual micelles are incorporated through shear into large micellar structures. The SIS buildup after a strong preshear and the relaxation processes after flow cessation were also studied and quantified with first normal stress difference measurements. The SIS buildup times and final state were also found to be highly dependent on flow geometry. With an increase in gap between parallel plates, for example, the SIS buildup times decreased, whereas the plateau viscosity increased.

Key words

Micellessurfactantrheologynormal stressesshear-thickening

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuntao Hu
    • 1
  • Eric F. Matthys
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA