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Rheology and Flow-Birefringence From Viscoelastic Polymer-Clay Solutions



G Schmidt, A Nakatani, Charles C. Han


The shear orientation of viscoelastic clay-polymer solutions was investigated by means of rheology and flow birefringence (δn). The polymer chains are in dynamic adsorption/desorption equilibrium with the clay particles to form a network. The elastic behavior of the network was characterized by constant stress, oscillatory shear and stress relaxation experiments. Constant stress experiments indicated a yield stress upon which shear flow started and no strain recovery could be observed. Oscillatory shear experiments showed a broad elastic region followed by flow when a critical strain was reached. Stress relaxation experiments showed several relaxation times when the same critical strain was reached. Experiments under steady flow characterized the transient behavior of the network. With increasing steady shear rate a pronounced minimum in birefringence was observed at a critical shear rate. The shear rate dependent viscosity showed near power law behavior and no corresponding critical feature. While birefringence detects orientational effects on a microscopic length scale, rheology averages over macroscopic changes in the sample. The same degree of orientation could be achieved under constant shear rate or constant stress conditions.
Rheologica Acta
41 No. 1-2


birefringence, clay, network, polymer, rheology, shear, solution, viscoelastic


Schmidt, G. , Nakatani, A. and Han, C. (2002), Rheology and Flow-Birefringence From Viscoelastic Polymer-Clay Solutions, Rheologica Acta, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created December 31, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021