Key words Polymeric liquid crystals
negative normal stresses
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract The effect of fillers on the flow curves of polymeric liquid crystals is investigated. Suspensions of polystyrene particles in liquid crystalline solutions of hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC) in water are used. By reducing the HPC concentration an isotropic solution can be prepared. It serves as a reference to isolate the effect of the isotropic/anisotropic structure of the suspending medium on the rheological behaviour. Suspensions in the isotropic solution behave as expected for filled viscoelastic matrices in general. In the anisotropic medium the shear rate rather than the shear stress seems to govern the changes in the relative viscosity. This behaviour is clearly different from isotropic viscoelastic media. The most dramatic effect however is that even small amounts of particles eliminate or drastically shift the region of negative normal stress differences. As far as the structure is concerned, microscopic observations show that particles align in anisotropic as well as in isotropic media. At rest or at relatively low shear stresses the liquid crystalline structure is, in the present case, hardly affected by the presence of the particles. If anything, it becomes more homogeneous.
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