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D. Konigsberg, T. M. Nicholson, P.J. Halley, T. J. Kealy, P. K. Bhattacharjee
Online process rheometry using oscillatory squeeze flow

Appl. Rheol. 23:3 (2013) 35688 (6 pages)

The flow of complex fluids is routinely encountered in a variety of industrial manufacturing operations. Some of these operations use rheological methods for process and quality control. In a typical process operation small quantities of the process fluid are intermittently sampled for rheological measurements and the efficiency of the process or the quality of the product is determined based on the outcomes of these measurements. The large number of sample-handling steps involved in this approach cost time and cause inconsistencies that lead to significant variability in the measurements. These complications often make effective process/ quality control using standard rheometric techniques difficult. The effectiveness of control strategies involving rheological measurements can be improved if measurements are made online during processing and sampling-steps are eliminated. Unfortunately, online instruments capable of providing sufficiently detailed rheological characterisation of process fluids have been difficult to develop. Commercially available online instruments typically provide a single measurement of viscosity at a fixed deformation rate. This dependence on a single pre-determined shear rate restricts these instruments from identifying changes in the product or the process, especially if the viscosity at the pre-determined shear rate remains unaltered during these changes. We introduce an Online Rheometer (OLR) that uses small amplitude oscillatory squeeze flow to measure the viscoelastic properties of process fluids in-process and in real time under typical processing conditions. We demonstrate that with an appropriate measuring geometry and amplitude of oscillation, the frequency response of typical non-Newtonian fluids can be accurately measured in a process pipe. We also compare our results with other techniques that are typically used for process rheometry, critically evaluating the utility of the OLR technology for advanced process and quality control.

Cite this publication as follows:
Konigsberg D, Nicholson TM, Halley P, Kealy TJ, Bhattacharjee PK: Online process rheometry using oscillatory squeeze flow, Appl. Rheol. 23 (2013) 35688.

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