Research objectives and content
The primary goal of this project is to achieve a better understanding of the aggregation process that promotes the electro-rheological (ER) effect which will yield the development of new electro-rheological fluids with industrial applications.
The kinetics of chaining of the colloidal particles will be
studied using electro-optical light scattering. This technique permits to follow structural changes in the ER fluids upon application of an electric field. The study will be performed with suspensions of monodisperse spherical particles as well as with polydiperse particles. The rheological behaviour of the ER fluid will be studied as a function of the shear stress and the electric field using concentric-cylinder or plate-plate geometries of rotational instruments. The changes in viscosity of the ER fluids upon the application of an electric field will be studied as function of the amplitude of the electric field and volume fraction of the suspended particles. The results of these investigations will yield new, important information on the input parameters for the modelling of ER fluids.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
Acquire skills in electro-optical LS and electro-rheology which are innovative techniques with potential applications in materials science. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The applications of greatest interest for electro-rheological fluids are in the transport industry automotive, air and marine - where applications of ER technology could result in large savings in fuel and energy.