ultrasonic shear wave rheology of weak particle gels

Buckin V. A., Kudryashov E.D.

Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, 89-90, pp. 401-422 (2001)

Weak particle gels have attracted increasing attention in the last decade. These gels have a very short region of deformation over which their viscoelastic parameters are constant. They can be broken easily in response to external forces. Therefore the rheological measurements in these systems must be performed at very small deformations, which may frequently be below the accuracy limits of conventional rheological instruments. In the present paper we discuss the application of the thickness shear mode resonator technique or the measurement of viscoelastic parameters of weak particle gels in the MHz frequency range. The technique provides information on the viscoelasticity of weak gels in the time scale 10-7 -10-9 s. The length scale of the measurements, determined by the depth of penetration and the wavelength of the shear wave, falls in the submicron and micron range. The displacements in the shear deformations generated in this technique are extremely small, in the order of Angstroms, and the shear strain, approximately 10-3, corresponds to the low limits in the classical dynamic rheology measurements. Only small volumes, down to 0.1 ml, of sample are required and this is another advantage of this technique. The measurements of the storage, G', and the loss, G", moduli can be carried out non-invasively and continuously at various frequencies in the same sample during the whole length of the process of gelation. General and specific aspects of the measurements and interpretation of experimental results are discussed in the present paper.

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