Effect of surfactant adsorption on the rheology of suspensions flocculated by associating polymers

  • Otsubo, Yasufumi (Department of Urban Environment Systems, Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University) ;
  • Horigome, Misao (Central Research Laboratories, Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, Inc.)
  • Published : 2003.12.01


Associating polymers act as flocculants in colloidal suspensions, because the hydrophobic groups (hydrophobes) can adsorb onto particle surfaces and create intermolecular cross-linking. The steady-shear viscosity and dynamic viscoelasticity were measured for suspensions flocculated by multichain bridging of associating polymers. The effects of surfactant on the suspension rheology are studied in relation to the bridging conformation. The surfactant molecule behaves as a displacer and the polymer chains are forced to desorb from the particle surfaces. The overall effect of surfactant is the reduction of suspension viscosity. However, the additions of a small amount of surfactant to suspensions, in which the degree of bridging is low, cause a viscosity increase, although the number of chains forming one bridge is decreased by the forced desorption of associating polymer. Since the polymer chains desorbed from one bridge can form another bridge between bare particles, the bridging density over the system is increased. Therefore, the surfactant adsorption leads to a viscosity increase. The surfactant influences the viscosity in two opposing ways depending on the degree of bridging.



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