Falling Needle Rheometry for General Viscoelastic Fluids

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Zheng, N. Phan-Thien, V. Ilic

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

J. Fluids Eng 116(3), 619-624 (Sep 01, 1994) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910322 History: Received May 05, 1993; Revised October 25, 1993; Online May 23, 2008


This paper reports theoretical and numerical studies on a flow of a general viscoelastic fluid past a needle placed at the centerline of a cylindrical tube, supplemented by a comparative experimental study. It is shown that the drag per unit length on the needle, which is assumed to be infinitely long, depends on the fluid viscosity only, whatever the first and second normal stress differences may be. This general theory is then specified to obtain solutions for the power-law and the Phan-Thien-Tanner fluids. The power-law fluid results provide a general technique for obtaining flow curves of non-Newtonian fluids from the measured drag forces on falling needles. This is achieved by using KU/R as the effective shear rate, where U is the terminal velocity of the needle, R is the radius of the tube, and K is a function of the power-law index n and the system geometry a/R (where a is the radius of the needle). The effect of the aspect ratio of the needle on the drag force is investigated numerically using a boundary element method for the flow of Phan-Thien-Tanner fluid. Experimentally, a flow curve was obtained for a kerosene solution of PIB (3.39 percent by weight), using falling needles of aspect ratio greater than 40 in a circular cylinder. The result compared well with Carri-Med 50 CS rheometer data.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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