A new model is proposed for the viscosity of Pickering emulsions at low shear rates. The model takes into consideration the increase in the effective volume fraction of droplets, due to the presence of an interfacial layer of solid nanoparticles at the oil-water interface. The model also considers aggregation of droplets and eventual jamming of Pickering emulsion at high volume fraction of dispersed phase. According to the proposed model, the relative viscosity of a Pickering emulsion at low shear rates is dependent on three factors: contact angle, ratio of bare droplet radius to solid nanoparticle radius, and the volume fraction of bare droplets. For a given radius of nanoparticles, the relative viscosity of a Pickering emulsion increases with the decrease in bare droplet radius. For O/W Pickering emulsions, the relative viscosity decreases with the increase in contact angle. The W/O Pickering emulsion exhibits an opposite behavior in that the relative viscosity increases with the increase in contact angle. The proposed model describes the experimental viscosity data for Pickering emulsions reasonably well.
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