Colloid Chemistry and Rheology

Module Title - Colloid Chemistry and Rheology  
Number of credits – 20

Module description

This module provides an in depth study of the world of colloidal systems and their industrial importance. The course will concentrate on three main systems namely suspensions (e.g. paints, toothpaste), emulsions (e.g. margarines, pharmaceutical preparations) and foams (e.g. mousses, shaving foams). Rheology, which is the study of how materials deform and flow, will also be covered in detail. The emphasis of the course is on how interparticle forces control the structure of colloidal systems and understanding how the processing of a fluid affects its structure, stability and function on both a micro- and macroscopic scale.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • List eight colloidal systems with industrial examples 
  • Describe how the surface tension can be measured and how it can be altered by surfactants
  • Define the critical micelle concentration
  • Explain why particles aggregate
  • Explain how to prevent aggregation
  • Distinguish between flocculation and coagulation
  • Relate microstructure of a product to interparticle forces
  • Describe how a surface can become charged and how the charge can be manipulated
  • Describe how the zeta potential of a suspension can be measured in dilute suspensions and concentrated
  • Calculate if one material will wet another surface
  • Predict the effect of different polymers on colloidal systems in terms of stability
  • Know what is meant by a complex structured fluid and how chemistry and interfacial phenomena act to form different structures
  • Be aware of the fundamental principles of rheology and the different classes of Non Newtonian fluid (time-dependant, time-independant)
  • Classify fluids according to their rheological behaviour using appropriate constitutive equations
  • Understand the phenomena associated with viscoelastic fluids
  • Know and use the different types of equipment used for rheological measurements and use appropriate measurement methods for a particular fluid being tested
  • Understand the process history (time, shear and temperature) can influence and/or destroy fluid structure

Teaching and assessment:

  • Semester 1.                         
  • Approximately 26 hours contact time.
  • 3 hour examination (80%). 20% of the marks will be allocated for a team presentation.   
  • Reassessment: 100% examination.