Controlling the rheological property of suspensions consisting of colloidal particles and polymers is necessary in industry. Especially, gels induced by shear (shake-gel) are interesting phenomena in rheological field. To gain insight into the shake-gel phenomena of the aqueous suspensions of silica nanoparticles and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and its temporal change, we observed the state transition and measured the viscosity of the silica-PEO suspensions. Our results showed that PEO dose, pH, and molecular weight of PEO influence the state of suspension greatly, and revealed the differences of the suspension states, namely, cloudy, permanent gel, shake-gel, and high viscosity sol. We found that the relaxation time from shake-gel to flowable sol increases to the maximum and decreases again with increasing PEO dose. Shake-gels at pH 8.4 relaxed more slowly than at pH 9.4, and shake-gel did not form at pH above 10 in most of cases, indicating high pH inhibits the formation of shake-gels. PEO of molecular weight of 1000 and 4000 kDa easily bonds more silica nanoparticles by bridging and results in the formation of gels with more stable polymer networks. PEO of molecular weight of 1000 and 4000 kDa also led to longer relaxation time of the silica-PEO suspensions from gel to sol.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited