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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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