Effect of nonadsorbed polymer on the stability of weakly flocculated suspensions

A. L. Ogden, J. A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stability of weakly flocculated, nonaqueous suspensions of aluminum oxide with adsorbed poly-(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) layers as a function of nonadsorbed PMMA volume fraction was studied through rheological measurements and optical microscopy. In the absence of nonadsorbed polymer, suspensions exhibited strong non-Newtonian shear-thinning behavior. Interparticle potential energy calculations yielded a secondary minimum of a few kT for this system. The degree of shear thinning, low shear relative viscosity, and characteristic floe size were observed to decrease with increasing nonadsorbed polymer over the entire concentration range studied. Improved suspension stability was observed at free polymer concentrations as low as 0.59 g/L, nearly 2 orders of magnitude below the estimated onset of depletion restabilization. These observations were attributed to the presence of a repulsive barrier (estimated to be of the order of kT or higher) arising prior to the exclusion of nonadsorbed species from the gap region. Kinetic effects stemming from energy barrier considerations appear to dominate colloidal interactions in weakly flocculated systems in the presence of nonadsorbed polymer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3413-3424
Number of pages12
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 10 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of nonadsorbed polymer on the stability of weakly flocculated suspensions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this