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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.

Tim Kealy, Carlos Tiu
Calibration of a Commercial Kneader for Rheological Applications

Appl. Rheol. 12:5 (2002) 241-251

In the case of some highly viscous fluids, or thick pastes (such as those exhibiting high yield stress and/or high plastic viscosity), neither rotational nor tube type viscometers are suitable for rheological characterisation. Due to their capacity for generating and maintaining high torque or high rates of rotation, kneaders and mixers can often engender shear rates in excess of those of conventional rotational viscometers. Often these devices are instrumented, to measure and record the rate of rotation of the mixing blades and the related torque on the shaft turning the blades. The major problem facing users of these mixers lies in data interpretation, specifically in relating rate of rotation and torque data to shear rate and shear stress respectively. If it were possible to obtain such relationships, useful rheological data could be generated with instrumented mixers. This work outlines the experimental and analytical techniques required to convert pertinent data from the Ika Visc MKD 0.6-H60 instrumented kneader into useful rheological quantities. The kneader is calibrated using a Newtonian fluid and the calibration successfully tested with other Newtonian fluids, as well as on shear thinning solutions. The possibility of using a constant factor, a, which accounts for both the geometric complexity of the mixing chamber, and non-ideal fluid flow properties, is examined. It is shown that a is not constant, but depends on the non-Newtonian flow indices. At moderate and high rates of kneading blade rotation, calibration was not reliable and results are based on rates of rotation from 0 - 8rpm for the slower of the two mixing blades (0-16rpm for the quickly rotating blade). A number of assumptions and empirical relationships are utilised for this technique. The approximate nature of the technique necessitated by their use is more than offset by providing us with a potentially important outcome in that the capacity for collecting rheological data available to the interested scientist or engineer has been enhanced. A robust calibration technique has been developed, which is not, in principle limited to the specific equipment utilised for our analysis.

Cite this publication as follows:
Kealy T, Tiu C: Calibration of a Commercial Kneader for Rheological Applications, Appl. Rheol. 12 (2002) 241.

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