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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rheology of pastes : effects of fibrillation, thixotropy and structure Anvari Ardakani, Hesam


Three different pastes (toothpaste, PTFE paste that is mixture of polytetrafluoroethylene of submicron size particles with a liquid lubricant, and chocolate) are investigated in this thesis as model paste systems to study their processing characteristics in capillary flow using various dies. The rheological behaviour of toothpaste and melt chocolate paste is identified as that of a yield-stress, thixotropic material with a time-dependent behaviour. The rheological data obtained from a parallel-disk were used to formulate a constitutive equation with a structural parameter which obeys a kinetic equation, typically used to model thixotropy. For semi-solid paste extrusion (PTFE paste and solid chocolate), a simple phenomenological mathematical model is developed. The model takes into account the elastic-plastic (strain hardening) and viscous nature of the material in its non-melt state. In addition, it takes into account the slip boundary condition at the paste/wall interface. To study scale-up possibilities, the rheology of non-melt processible polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) pastes is studied using three capillary rheometers having barrels of different diameter and equipped with capillary dies of various designs. The effects of process conditions on fibrillation and mechanical properties of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) paste extrudates are also studied. To describe the effects of die design on the quality of the final product, a basic phenomenological mathematical model is developed. The model consists of a simple equation that explains fibril formation, due to the compression of PTFE resins, plus a kinetic equation, which is coupled with the “radial-flow” hypothesis to predict the structure and the tensile strength of extrudates. Model predictions for structural parameter compared with the tensile strength measurements, have shown a good qualitative agreement. For all paste systems, the pressure drop is measured as a function of apparent shear rate (flow rate), reduction ratio (cross sectional area of barrel to that of die), contraction angle, length-to-diameter ratio, and diameter of the barrel (scale-up). In all cases, model shown to have coefficient of determination (R2) above 0.84. Finally, extrusion pressure predictions based on the proposed models are compared with the experimental data obtained from macroscopic pressure drop measurements and are found to be consistent.

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