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Controlling Suspension Rheology

By Chemical Engineering |

The physical characteristics of dispersed particles have a large impact on overall rheological properties Many important products of the chemical process industries (CPI) exist as suspensions or dispersions of particles in liquid media. Examples range from adhesives, ceramics, paints and inks to food-and-beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical products. The physical properties of the dispersed particles in such systems — including particle size, particle-size distribution, concentration, electric charge and even particle shape — can all strongly influence the overall (bulk) rheological properties of a suspension, thereby defining product behavior and functionality. Understanding these interactions is crucial for achieving the desired product performance. This could mean, for example, the stability of a paint or medicine, or the visual appeal of a shower gel or drink. This article examines the impact of particle loading on suspension viscosity, and more broadly, on overall rheological behavior. It looks in some detail at how particle size and shape influence critical aspects of suspension performance, such as viscosity and stability. One central focus of the article is to provide practical guidance for measuring the rheological…
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