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Kinetics and Cluster Morphology Evolution of Shear-Driven Aggregation of Well-Stabilized Colloids

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journal contribution
posted on 27.01.2015, 00:00 by Xia Meng, Hua Wu, Massimo Morbidelli
We investigate the shear-driven aggregation of polystyrene colloids that are stabilized by both fixed and surfactant charges, using a microchannel device, in various particle volume fractions. The objective is to understand how the primary particles evolve to clusters with shearing time, how the cluster morphology develops along the aggregation with the effect of breakage and restructuring, and whether non-Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) interactions are present, affecting the kinetics. The time evolution of the primary particle conversion to big clusters is characterized by an induction time, followed by an explosive increase when the cluster size reaches a certain critical value, which confirms the self-acceleration kinetics developed in the literature. The size of the critical clusters has been quantified for the first time, and its scaling with the shear rate follows the literature prediction well. Moreover, analysis of the shear-driven kinetics confirms the presence of substantial non-DLVO interactions in the given system.