, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 397-407
Date: 06 Nov 2008

Shear and elongational flow behavior of acrylic thickener solutions. Part II: effect of gel content

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We have investigated the effect of crosslink density on shear and elongational flow properties of alkali-swellable acrylic thickener solutions using a mixing series of the two commercial thickeners Sterocoll FD and Sterocoll D as model system. Linear viscoelastic moduli show a smooth transition from weakly elastic to gel-like behavior. Steady shear data are very well described by a single mode Giesekus model at all mixing ratios. Extensional flow behavior has been characterized using the CaBER technique. Corresponding decay of filament diameter is also well fitted by the Giesekus model, except for the highest crosslink densities, when filament deformation is highly non-uniform, but the non-linearity parameter α, which is independent of the mixing ratio, is two orders of magnitude higher in shear compared to elongational flow. Shear relaxation times increase by orders of magnitude, but the characteristic elongational relaxation time decreases weakly, as gel content increases. Accordingly, variation of gel content is a valuable tool to adjust the low shear viscosity in a wide range while keeping extensional flow resistance essentially constant.