Influence of particle size distribution on rheology and particle packing of silica-based suspensions


The effect of particle size, particle size distribution and milling time on the rheological behaviour and particle packing of silica suspensions was investigated using slurries containing total solids loading of 46 vol.%. Three silica powders with different average particle sizes (2.2, 6.5 and 19 mum), derived from dry milling of sand, and a colloidal fumed silica powder with 0.07 mum were used. Different proportions of colloidal fumed silica powder were added to each of the coarser silica powders and the mixtures were ball-milled for different time periods. The influence of these factors and of the particle size ratio on the rheological behaviour of the suspensions and densities of green slip cast bodies was studied. The results show that the flow properties of slips are strongly influenced by the particle size distribution. The viscosity of suspensions increases with the addition of fine particles, imposing some practical limitations in terms of volume fraction of fines that can be added. On the other hand, increasing the size ratio enhanced the shear thinning character of the suspensions, while decreasing the size ratio led to an accentuation of the shear thickening behaviour. For all mixed suspensions, green densities increased with increasing milling time, due to size reduction of silica powders and a more efficient deagglomeration of fumed silica. Increasing amounts of fumed silica led to a first increase of particle packing up to a maximum, followed by a decreasing trend for further additions. Good relationships could be observed between rheological results and packing densities. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.






Olhero, SM; Ferreira, JMF

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