Corporate, Customer experience, Kinexus »
Thinking back to those early design meetings that the development team here at Malvern undertook at the inception of the Kinexus rheometer project, one of our key aims was to deliver a new rheometer platform that enabled total flexibility of control – to provide unique test capabilities that went beyond those previously available on rotational rheometer systems.
Market feedback was telling us that Industrial users would like the option to run under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)-driven protocols, with ‘locked down’ tests that included specific user instructions and inputs to meet their …
If you take a listen to the theme tune for the 1958 B-movie classic ‘The Blob’, you’ll hear a song that sounds bizarrely cheerful and frivolously upbeat, for a film that has probably been the cause of recurring night terrors for many!
Consider some of the words of that song – ‘Beware of the Blob, it creeps, and leaps, and slides and glides…..’ – against a plot of a meteorite that comes to Earth and disgorges a thick viscous mass that oozes from the broken shell, which shows self-locomotion and can …
Prior to coming to Malvern, I spent my time at Bristol University as a researcher looking at rheological properties of non-Newtonian fluids in microfluidic channels. Part of my role was also to give an introductory lecture course on Rheology to undergraduate students, and I clearly recall every year making up polymer solutions and getting together a series of props to try and illustrate some rheological phenomena shown by complex fluids. Rod climbing up a Black and Decker drill was always messier in practice than it looked when illustrated in rheology …Read the full story »
If you’ve ever used a spell checker to review an article which includes the word ‘rheology’, then you might have come across a ‘theology’ connection, as that’s what you’re usually prompted to change the word to! But rheology really does have some theological connections, aside from being considered a misprint, and one in particular highlights the importance of understanding the timescale of deformation and the effect that has on a material’s rheological properties.
One of the founding fathers* of rheology, Markus Reiner proposed the Deborah Number – named after the prophetess …
Tech Talk »
Characterizing hydrogels is an area that we are seeing a rapid increase of interest, primarily due to their use in the development of novel biomaterials and in various biomedical applications. Hydrogels are a class of gels – materials with a three dimensional network that spans the volume of a liquid medium – in which water is the dispersion medium.
These soft, pliable materials have the ability to absorb significant quantities of water – as with naturally-occurring materials that play a vital part in all forms of life – making them compatible …
Tech Talk, Zeta potential »
In anticipation of the start of Euro 2012, thoughts probably turn more to the upcoming festival of football (or soccer depending on your whereabouts) – and maybe the odd beer to celebrate or commiserate match results – as opposed to materials characterization that we here at Malvern are involved in daily.
But the two are inextricably linked, as revealed by developments that have led to the new tournament football in use at Euro 2012, where advances in polyurethane dispersion and resin technology are at the forefront.
Such materials are familiar to us …
Customer contact is always something that is maintained here at Malvern – with our Customer Support and Technical and Application teams available to ensure our users are able to get the most out of their instruments. Since many of our users are in universities, one particularly interesting aspect for me is being able to keep up to date with the latest research developments that Malvern systems are being used for.
It was a pleasure to be able to catch up again recently with members of the Oxford Silk Group, to hear about …
Dilute Solution Viscometry, »
That’s U-tube (Ubbelohde Tube) – not YouTube!
Automated Dilute Solution Viscometry (DSV) systems directly measure the relative viscosity of dilute polymer solutions, allowing the determination of intrinsic viscosity, a parameter that correlates with molecular weight, itself a defining polymer characteristic. Safer, and more accurate than traditional glassware methods it is easy to find yourself wondering why anyone wouldn’t want to switch to an automated system.
The Viscotek DSV solution uses advanced pressure sensing technology and ASTM-approved methodology in a closed loop system. It combines automated sample preparation and low solvent consumption with …
Yield stress is a commercially useful rheological phenomenon evident in many every day products. Toothpaste and tomato ketchup are excellent examples of materials that exhibit a yield stress and good demonstrators of what it means in practical terms. Both these substances are stationary and solid-like at rest. However, apply a stress that exceeds a critical value – typically by giving the packaging a squeeze or the bottle a sound tap – and out they flow. There’s a lovely rhyme from the American humourist Ogden Nash (1902-1971) that alludes to the …Read the full story »
Particle size, Zeta potential »
Suspensions and dispersions are encountered in a wide range of applications, from liquid abrasive cleaners, personal care products, ceramic slurries and medicines to paints and inks. In most cases it is necessary to keep the suspension stable for the product lifetime although, in others, destabilizing the suspension may be a requirement. An example of the latter would be for water treatment or de-aeration.
With this widespread, and ever broadening use of dispersions, the options for ‘product engineering’ to optimize stability is a question that Malvern is often asked due to the …