Rheologica Acta

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 363–376 | Cite as

Measuring and assessing first and second normal stress differences of polymeric fluids with a modular cone-partitioned plate geometry

  • Salvatore Costanzo
  • Giovanni Ianniruberto
  • Giuseppe Marrucci
  • Dimitris Vlassopoulos
Original Contribution


We propose a simple, robust method to measure both the first and second normal stress differences of polymers, hence obtaining the full set of viscometric material functions in nonlinear shear flow. The method is based on the use of a modular cone-partitioned plate (CPP) setup with two different diameters of the inner plate, mounted on a rotational strain-controlled rheometer. The use of CPP allows extending the measured range of shear rates without edge fracture problems. The main advantage of such a protocol is that it overcomes limitations of previous approaches based on CPP (moderate temperatures not exceeding 120 °C, multiple measurements of samples with different volume) and yields data over a wide temperature range by performing a two-step measurement on two different samples with the same volume. The method was tested with two entangled polystyrene solutions at elevated temperatures, and the results were favorably compared with both the limited literature data on the second normal stress difference and the predictions obtained with a recent tube-based model of entangled polymers accounting for shear flow-induced molecular tumbling. Limitations and possible improvements of the proposed simple experimental protocol are also discussed.

Graphical abstract

The effects of edge fracture in start-up shear experiments can be circumvented with the use of a cone-partitioned plate (CPP) geometry. Such a device consists of an inner measuring plate surrounded by an outer nonmeasuring corona. The radius of the sample exceeds that of the measuring plate so that the measured volume is not affected by edge instability. However, the measured first normal stress difference is an apparent one (Napp,1), owing to the contribution of the nonmeasured part of the sample. The figure depicts a schematic design of a modular CPP geometry. Such a fixture is built in a way that the inner tool and the outer partition can be easily replaced, in order to have different measuring diameters (i.e., 6 and 10 mm). From the corresponding signals of the Napp,1, the effective first and second normal stress differences can be calculated.


Start-up experiment Second normal stress difference Cone-partitioned plate rheometry 



We thank Thomas Schweizer for providing the centering tools and for his helpful discussions.

Funding information

Support for this research was received by the EU (Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN Supolen, GA607937).


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Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Electronic Structure and LaserFoundation for Research and Technology (FORTH)HeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and TechnologyUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  3. 3.Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221Université Montpellier 2MontpellierFrance
  4. 4.Department of Chemical, Materials, and Production EngineeringFederico II UniversityNaplesItaly

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