Our goals within the IFPRI project are threefold
1. To explore how, moving away from model systems containing spherical colloids with near hard interactions, we can widen the range of rheological responses by changing the properties of the building blocks of the suspensions, so that even in simple formulations a wide range of behaviors can be ”built in”, i.e. obtaining formulation guidelines to do “more with less” or simplifying formulations from within. The properties aimed for, after discussing with IFPRI members, are the control of shear thinning/thickening and the control of the thixotropic response.
2. To further develop a limited number of rheological and structural tools to interrogate the rheological response of the such dispersions, focusing on
- Advanced rheological methods which allow for stress deconvolution such as high frequency rheometry and superposition rheometry, which help identify the nature of the stress during flow (elastic or viscous), which helps to identify which aspect of the particles or formulation controls the rheology
- High resolution confocal microscopy to probe structural development in situ during flow (4D imaging)
- Local scale tribological measurements using AFM.
3. Apply these methods to simplified industrial dispersion by industrial partners and compare with the formulation guidelines obtained from (1).
The present report discusses the progress made in the last 12 months.