Key words Fumed silica
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Suspensions of fumed silica exhibit a wide range of rheological properties depending on the nature and magnitude of the interparticle forces. In a non-polar fluid, the particles interact through hydrogen bonding and can form a three-dimensional network. The microstructure formation is responsible for the non-linear viscoelastic behavior of fumed silica suspensions, even at very small strain. These non-linear rheological properties have been studied in small amplitude oscillatory experiments as a function of particle size, surface treatment of particles, suspending medium polarity and solids concentration. The non-linear viscoelastic behavior is characterized by a non-sinusoidal waveform of the signal response. For suspensions in a non-polar fluid, both the elastic and the loss moduli are shown to be sensitive to the strain amplitude: the elastic modulus is decreasing with increasing strain whereas the loss moduli is initially increasing with strain. We have chosen to examine the dissipated energy which is clearly related to the breakup of the suspension structure. A comparison of model predictions and the experimental data shows the limitations of these models, recently proposed in the literature to describe the behavior of colloidal suspensions.
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