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Stretch and Breakage of Wormlike Micelles under Uniaxial Strain: A Simulation Study and Comparison with Experimental Results

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journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2018, 00:00 by Taraknath Mandal, Ronald G. Larson
We use coarse-grained (CG) molecular dynamics simulations to determine the effect of uniaxial strain on the stress, scission stress, and scission energy of solutions of wormlike micelles of cetyltrimethylammonium chloride/sodium salicylate (NaSal). We find that the breaking stress, stretch modulus, and scission energy of the charged micelles are nonmonotonic functions of oppositely charged hydrotrope (NaSal) concentration. While the stretch modulus shows a peak at a value of surfactant-to-hydrotrope concentration ratio (R) close to unity as expected due to neutralization of head-group charge at R = 1, the breaking stress and scission energy produce a peak at R < 1.0 because of thinning of the micelle diameter with increased R. The breaking stress from the simulations depends on the rate of deformation and roughly agrees with the experimental values of Rothstein (J. Rheol. 2003, 47, 1227) after extrapolation to the much lower experimental rates. The method and results can be used to predict the effects of flow and mechanical stress on rates of micellar breakage, which is important in the rheology of wormlike micellar solutions.