Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems
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Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems. Plan Rheology of dispersion system . Sol’s viscosity . Liquid dispersed systems : suspensions , emulsions , foams . Gas dispersed systems : aerosols , powders . Assistant Kozachok S.S. prepared.

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Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

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Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems


  • Rheology of dispersion system. Sol’s viscosity.

  • Liquid dispersed systems: suspensions, emulsions, foams.

  • Gas dispersed systems: aerosols, powders.

Assistant Kozachok S.S. prepared

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Rheology is the science of the deformation and flow of matter

It is a subject of tremendous andincreasing technological importance - in many industries, such asrubber, plastics, food, paint and textiles, the suitability of theproducts involved is to a large extent judged in terms of theirmechanical properties. In biology and medicine (particularly

haematology) rheological behaviour is also of major importance.

The most straightforward rheological behaviour is exhibited on theone hand by Newtonian viscous fluids and on the other by Hookeanelastic solids. However, most materials, particularly those of acolloidal nature, exhibit mechanical behaviour which is intermediatebetween these two extremes, with both viscous and elastic characteristicsin evidence. Such materials are termed viscoelastic.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

The rheological behaviour ofcolloidal dispersions depends mainly on the following factors:

1. Viscosity of the dispersion medium.

2. Particle concentration.

3. Particle size and shape.

4. Particle-particle and particle-dispersion medium nteractions.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Newtonian viscosity

The viscosity of a liquid is a measure of the internal resistance offered

to the relative motion of different parts of the liquid. Viscosity is

described as Newtonian when the shearing force per unit area σ

between two parallel planes of liquid in relative motion is proportional

to the velocity gradient D between the planes - i.e.

where η is the coefficient of viscosity. The dimension of η is,

therefore, (mass) (length)-1 (time)-1.For most pure liquids and for many solutions and dispersions, ηis awell-defined quantity for a given temperature and pressure which isindependent of σand D, provided that the flow is streamlined (i.e.laminar). For many other solutions and dispersions, especially ifconcentrated and if the particles are asymmetric and/or aggregateddeviations from Newtonian flow are observed. The main causes ofnon-Newtonian flow are the formation of a structure throughout thesystem and orientation of asymmetric particles caused by the velocitygradient.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Measurement of viscosity

Capillary flow methods

The most frequently employed methods for measuring viscosities arebased on flow through a capillary tube. The pressure under which theliquid flows furnishes the shearing stress.The relative viscosities of two liquids can be determined by using asimple Ostwald viscometer (Figure). Sufficient liquid is introducedinto the viscometer for the levels to be at B and C. Liquid is thendrawn up into the left-hand limb until the liquid levels are aboveA and at the bottom of the right-hand bulb. The liquid is thenreleased and the time for the left-hand meniscus to pass between themarks A and B is measured.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Since the pressure at any instant driving the liquid through thecapillary is proportional to its density,

where k is the viscometer constant, p is the density of the liquid and t is the flow time. Therefore, for two different liquids,

Ostwald s capillary flow methods

Ostwald’s capillary flow methods

whereη – viscosity

ρ – the density of the liquid

К – the viscometer constant,

t – the flow time

[η] = Pa·s

Stock s viscometer

Stock’s viscometer

wherd – density of the globule’s material,

ρо – liquid density,

 - translational velocity of the uniform motion of the globule

g - acceleration of gravity

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Viscosities of dilute colloidal solutions and dispersions

Functions of viscosity

When colloidal particles are dispersed in a liquid, the flow of theliquid is disturbed and the viscosity is higher than that of the pureliquid. The problem of relating the viscosities of colloidal dispersions(especially when dilute) with the nature of the dispersed particles hasbeen the subject of much experimental investigation and theoreticalconsideration. In this respect, viscosity increments are of greatersignificance than absolute viscosities, and the following functions of

viscosity are defined:

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Spherical particles

Einstein (1906) made a hydrodynamic calculation (under assumptionssimilar to those of Stokes;) relating to the disturbance ofthe flow lines when identical, non-interacting, rigid, sphericalparticles are dispersed in a liquid medium, and arrived at theexpression:

The effect of such particles on the viscosity of a dispersion depends,therefore, only on the total volume which they occupy and isindependent of their size.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

For dispersions of non-rigid spheres (e.g. emulsions) the flow linesmay be partially transmitted through the suspended particles, makingk in Einstein's equation less than 2.5.

S tructural and mechanical behavior of the dispersion systems

Structural and mechanical behaviorof the dispersion systems

Relative viscosity(it’s true when the spherical particles don’t react with each other):

Reduced viscosity (or viscosity number):

1/η - fluidity

Scheme formation of the dimensional structure

Scheme formation of the dimensional structure

Aggregates which closeafixed fluid inside temselves

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Non-Newtonian flow


Shear-thinning, as the term suggests, is characterised by a gradual(time-independent) decrease in apparent viscosity with increasingrate of shear, and can arise from a number of causes.

If particle aggregation occurs in a colloidal system, then an increasein the shear rate will tend to break down the aggregates, which willresult, among other things, in a reduction of the amount of solventimmobilised by the particles, thus lowering the apparent viscosity of

the system.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Shear thinning is an effect where viscosity decreases with increasing rate of shear stress. Materials that exhibit shear thinning are called pseudoplastic. This property is found in certain complex solutions, such as lava, ketchup, whipped cream, blood, paint, and nail polish. It is also a common property of polymer solutions and molten polymers.

A shear stress, denoted (tau), is defined as a stress which is applied parallel or tangential to a face of a material, as opposed to a normal stress which is applied perpendicularly.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Shear-thinning is particularly common to systems containing

asymmetric particles. Asymmetric particles disturb the flow lines to agreater extent when they are randomly orientated at low-velocitygradients than when they have been aligned at high-velocitygradients. In addition, particle interaction and solvent immobilisationare favoured when conditions of random orientation prevail.

The apparent viscosity of a system which thins on shearing is mostsusceptible to changes in the shear rate in the intermediate rangewhere there is a balance between randomness and alignment, andbetween aggregation and dispersion.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Plasticity and yield value

Plasticity is similar to shear-thinning, except that the system does notflow noticeably until the shearing stress exceeds a certain minimumvalue. The applied stress corresponding to a small but arbitrarilychosen rate of deformation is termed the yield value.

Plasticity is due to a continuous structural network which impartsrigidity to the sample and which must be broken before flow canoccur. It is often difficult to distinguish between plastic and ordinaryshear-thinning behaviour. Modelling clay, drilling muds and certain

pigment dispersions are examples of plastic dispersions.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Time-dependent phenomena


Thixotropy is the time-dependent analogue of shear-thinning and

plastic behaviour, and arises from somewhat similar causes. If a

thixotropic system is allowed to stand and is then sheared at

a constant rate, the apparent viscosity decreases with time until a

balance between structural breakdown and structure re-formation is

reached. If the sheared system is then allowed to stand, it eventually

regains its original structure.

Solutions of high polymers are, in general, thixotropic to a certain

extent; intermolecular attractions and entanglements are overcome

and the extent of solvent immobilisation is reduced on shearing,

while Brownian motion restores the system to its original condition

when left to stand. The classical examples of thixotropic behaviour

are given by the weak gel systems, such as flocculated sols of iron(III)

oxide, alumina and many clays (particularly bentonite clays), which

can be liquefied' on shaking and 'solidify' on standing. Thixotropy is

particularly important in the paint industry, as it is desirable that the

paint should flow only when being brushed on to the appropriate

surface (high rate of shear) and immediately after brushing.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems


Rheopexy is time-dependent shear-thickening, and is sometimesobserved as an acceleration of thixotropic recovery - for example,bentonite clay suspensions often set only slowly on standing but quiterapidly when gently disturbed,


Shear-thickening is characterised by an increase in apparent viscositywith increasing rate of deformation.

Emulsion liquid liquid

Emulsion (liquid/liquid)

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Emulsifying agents and emulsion stability

Probably the most important physical property of an emulsion is its

stability. The term 'emulsion stability' can be used with reference to

three essentially different phenomena - creaming (or sedimentation),

coagulation and a breaking of the emulsion due to droplet coalescence.

If an emulsion is prepared by homogenising two pure liquid

components, phase separation will usually be rapid, especially if the

concentration of the dispersed phase is at all high. To prepare

reasonably stable emulsions, a third component - an emulsifying

agent (or emulsifier) - must be present. The materials which are most

effective as emulsifying (and foaming) agents can be broadly

classified as:

1. Surface-active materials.

2. Naturally occurring materials.

3. Finely divided solids.

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

The functions of the emulsifying agent are to facilitate emulsification

and promote emulsion stability. The emulsifying agent forms an

adsorbed film around the dispersed droplets which helps to prevent

coagulation and coalescence. The stabilising mechanism is usually

complex and may vary from system to system. In general, however,

the factors which control droplet coagulation are the same as those

which control the stability of sols.

The following factors (which depend on the nature of the

emulsifying agent and/or on a suitable choice of formulation and

manufacturing conditions) favour emulsion stability:

1, Low interfacial tension The adsorption of surfactant at oil-water

interfaces causes a lowering of interfacial energy, thus facilitating

the development and enhancing the stability of the large interfacial

areas associated with emulsions.

2. A mechanically strong and elastic interfacial film This is particularly

important when the volume fraction of the dispersed phase is


Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

3. Electrical double layer repulsions (see page 212) Interparticle

repulsion due to the overlap of similarly charged electric double

layers is an important stabilising mechanism in O/W emulsions.

When ionic emulsifying agents are used, lateral electric double

layer repulsion may prevent the formation of a close-packed film.

This film-expanding effect can be minimised by using a mixed

ionic plus non-ionic filmand/or by increasing the

electrolyte concentration in the aqueous phase.

4. Relatively small volume of dispersed phase (see below).

5. Narrow droplet size distribution Larger droplets are less unstable

than smaller droplets on account of their smaller area-to-volume

ratio, and so will tend to grow at the expense of the smaller droplets.

6. High viscosity A high Newtonian viscosity simply retards the

rates of creaming, coalescence, etc. If a weak gel network is

formed by, for example, dissolving sodium carboxymethyl cellulose

in an O/W emulsion, genuine stability might ensue. However, the

overall Theological properties of such an emulsion may not be


Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Emulsifying agents and emulsion type

The type of emulsion which is formed when a given pair of immiscible

liquids is homogenised depends on (1) the relative volumes of the two

phases, and (2) the nature of the emulsifying agent.

1. Phase volumeThe higher its phase volume, the more likely a*

liquid is to become the dispersion medium. However, the liquid

with the greater phase volume need not necessarily be the

dispersion medium.

If the emulsion consisted of an assembly of closely packed

uniform spherical droplets, the dispersed phase would occupy 0.74

of the total volume. Stable emulsions can, however, be prepared

in which the volume fraction of the dispersed phase exceeds 0.74,

because (a) the droplets are not of uniform size and can,

therefore, be packed more densely, and (b) the droplets may

be deformed into polyhedra, the interfacial film preventing


Types of emulsion

Types of emulsion:

diluted concentrated jelly emulsion

< 0,1 %< 74 %>74 %

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

2. Nature of the emulsifying agentAlkali-metal soaps favour the

formation of O/W emulsions, whereas heavy-metal soaps favour

the formation of W/O emulsions. O/W emulsions in the middle

concentration region stabilised by alkali-metal soaps can often be

broken, and even inverted into W/O emulsions, by the addition of

heavy-metal ions.

The most satisfactory general theory of emulsion type is that

originally proposed for emulsions stabilised by finely divided solids

(see Figure). If the solid is preferentially wetted by one of the

phases, then more particles can be accommodated at the interface if

the interface is convex towards that phase

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

The amphiphilic nature of many emulsifying agents (particularly

non-ionic surfactants) can be expressed in terms of an empirical scale

of so-called HLB (hydrophile-lipophile balance) numbers222 (see

Table 10.1). The least hydrophilic surfactants are assigned the lowest

HLB values.

Suspension solid liquid

Suspension (solid/liquid)

Foams gas liquid

Foams (gas/liquid)

Aerosol liquid gas solid gas

Aerosol (liquid/gas, solid /gas)

Powder solid with high concentration gas

Powder (solid with high concentration / gas)


Characteristics of powder

Characteristics of powder:

  • Bulk density(It is defined as the mass of many particles of the material divided by the total volume they occupy).

  • The clumping behavior (of a powder arises because of the molecular Van der Waals force that causes individual grains to cling to one another).

Structural and mechanical properties of the dispersed systems

Thanks for attention

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