Viscosity Model for Nanoparticulate Suspensions Based on Surface Interactions
In this paper, a widely mechanistic model was developed to depict the rheological behaviour of nanoparticulate suspensions with solids contents up to 20 wt.%, based on the increase in shear stress caused by surface interaction forces among particles. The rheological behaviour is connected to drag forces arising from an altered particle movement with respect to the surrounding fluid. In order to represent this relationship and to model the viscosity, a hybrid modelling approach was followed, in which mechanistic relationships were paired with heuristic expressions. A genetic algorithm was utilized during model development, by enabling the algorithm to choose among several hard-to-assess model options. By the combination of the newly developed model with existing models for the various physical phenomena affecting viscosity, it can be applied to model the viscosity over a broad range of solids contents, shear rates, temperatures and particle sizes. Due to its mechanistic nature, the model even allows an extrapolation beyond the limits of the data points used for calibration, allowing a prediction of the viscosity in this area. Only two parameters are required for this purpose. Experimental data of an epoxy resin filled with boehmite nanoparticles were used for calibration and comparison with modelled values.