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Analysis of Silica Pulp Viscoelasticity in Saline Media: The Effect of Cation Size

Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Procesos de Minerales, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Antofagasta, Av. Angamos 601, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Universidad Arturo Pratt, P.O. Box 121 Iquique 1100000, Chile
CSIRO Chile, International Center of Excellence, Las Condes, Santiago 8320000, Chile
Chemical Engineering Department and Surface Analysis Laboratory (ASIF), Universidad de Concepción, P.O. Box 160-C, Correo 3, Concepción 4030000, Chile
Water Research Center for Agriculture and Mining (CRHIAM), University of Concepción, Victoria 1295, Concepción 4030000, Chile
Escuela de Ingeniería Química, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2340000, Chile
Centro de Investigación Tecnológica del Agua en el Desierto, Universidad Católica del Norte, CEITASAZA, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 216;
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Metallurgy)
PDF [2577 KB, uploaded 23 April 2019]


The effect of alkali metal chlorides on the viscoelastic behavior and yielding properties of silica suspensions was studied through creep-recovery and dynamic oscillatory tests with stress control. Then, the viscoelasticity of the pulps was correlated with the silica zeta potential, aggregate size, and the percentage of cations adsorbed on the surface of the ore. The results indicate that larger cations are more prone to adhere to the silica surface, which increases the number of ionic bonds that bind the particles. This generates stronger particle networks and a greater agglomeration of particles, especially those smaller than 10 µm. As the size of the bare cations increases, the rheological response provides higher values of yield stress, complex viscosity, and viscoelastic moduli, but in turn, pulps undergo minor deformations under the application of stress. Dynamic oscillatory tests suggest structural changes, with the phase angle following the inverse relationship with the bare cation size, indicating that the liquid-like character of the pulps increases as the size of the cations increases. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hofmeister series; oscillatory dynamic tests; rheology; saline medium; silica pulp; viscoelasticity Hofmeister series; oscillatory dynamic tests; rheology; saline medium; silica pulp; viscoelasticity

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Jeldres, R.I.; Piceros, E.C.; Leiva, W.H.; Toledo, P.G.; Quezada, G.R.; Robles, P.A.; Valenzuela, J. Analysis of Silica Pulp Viscoelasticity in Saline Media: The Effect of Cation Size. Minerals 2019, 9, 216.

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