Experimental characterization of breakage rate of colloidal aggregates in axisymmetric extensional flow

Debashish Saha, Miroslav Soos, Beat Lüthi, Markus Holzner, Alex Liberzon, Matthaus U. Babler, Wolfgang Kinzelbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aggregates prepared under fully destabilized conditions by the action of Brownian motion were exposed to an extensional flow generated at the entrance of a sudden contraction. Two noninvasive techniques were used to monitor their breakup process [i.e. light scattering and three-dimensional (3D) particle tracking velocimetry (3D-PTV)]. While the first one can be used to measure the size and the morphology of formed fragments after the breakage event, the latter is capable of resolving trajectories of individual aggregates up to the breakage point as well as the trajectories of formed fragments. Furthermore, measured velocity gradients were used to determine the local hydrodynamic conditions at the breakage point. All this information was combined to experimentally determine for the first time the breakage rate of individual aggregates, given in the form of a size reduction rate KR, as a function of the applied strain rate, as well as the properties of the formed fragments (i.e., the number of formed fragments and the size ratio between the largest fragment and the original aggregate). It was found that KR scales with the applied strain rate according to a power law with the slope being dependent on the initial fractal dimension only, while the obtained data indicates a linear dependency of KR with the initial aggregate size. Furthermore, the probability distribution function (PDF) of the number of formed fragments and the PDF of the size ratio between the largest fragment and the original aggregate indicate that breakage will result with high probability (75%) in the formation of two to three fragments with a rather asymmetric ratio of sizes of about 0.8. The obtained results are well in agreement with the results from the numerical simulations published in the literature. (Graph Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14385-14395
Number of pages11
JournalLangmuir
Volume30
Issue number48
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2014

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