, Volume 47, Issue 5-6, pp 621-642

High shear rate viscometry

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Abstract

We investigate the use of two distinct and complementary approaches in measuring the viscometric properties of low viscosity complex fluids at high shear rates up to 80,000 s−1. Firstly, we adapt commercial controlled-stress and controlled-rate rheometers to access elevated shear rates by using parallel-plate fixtures with very small gap settings (down to 30 μm). The resulting apparent viscosities are gap dependent and systematically in error, but the data can be corrected—at least for Newtonian fluids—via a simple linear gap correction originally presented by Connelly and Greener, J. Rheol, 29(2):209–226, 1985). Secondly, we use a microfabricated rheometer-on-a-chip to measure the steady flow curve in rectangular microchannels. The Weissenberg–Rabinowitsch–Mooney analysis is used to convert measurements of the pressure-drop/flow-rate relationship into the true wall-shear rate and the corresponding rate-dependent viscosity. Microchannel measurements are presented for a range of Newtonian calibration oils, a weakly shear-thinning dilute solution of poly(ethylene oxide), a strongly shear-thinning concentrated solution of xanthan gum, and a wormlike micelle solution that exhibits shear banding at a critical stress. Excellent agreement between the two approaches is obtained for the Newtonian calibration oils, and the relative benefits of each technique are compared and contrasted by considering the physical processes and instrumental limitations that bound the operating spaces for each device.

Paper presented at 4th Annual European Rheology Conference (AERC) on April 12–14, 2007, Naples, Italy.