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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: August 2012

13 - Viscoelasticity



This chapter presents a phenomenological description of viscoelastic properties of polymer solutions. While aspects of the description will appear familiar, this chapter is fundamentally unlike other chapters in this book. In Chapter 2 we discussed sedimentation. Much of the literature appeared before younger readers were born, but the sedimentation coefficient s is the coefficient familiar to everyone who has ever been interested in the method. In Chapter 3 we discussed capillary electrophoresis in polymer solutions. The notion that this method gives information about the polymer solutions being used as support media is nearly novel, but the electrophoretic mobility μ is the coefficient familiar to everyone who uses the technique. Similar statements apply to each of the other chapters. The perspective in prior chapters on a solution property may not be the same as seen elsewhere, but the parameters used to characterize the property have been familiar.

To treat viscoelasticity we need to do something different.

The classical viscoelastic properties are the dynamic shearmoduli, written in the frequency domain as the storage modulus G′(ω) and the loss modulus G″(ω), the shear stress relaxation function G(t), and the shear-dependent viscosity η(κ). Optical flow birefringence and analogousmethods determine related solution properties. Nonlinear viscoelastic phenomena are treated briefly in Chapter 14.

Solution properties depend on polymer concentration and molecular weight, originally leading to the hope that one could apply reduction schemes and transform measurements of the shear moduli at different c and M to a few master curves.

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