Review of scientific instruments vol:68 issue:11 pages:4090-4096
The design of a device for rheological orthogonal superposition measurements on fluids is discussed. Superposing a small amplitude oscillatory motion on a steady or transient shear flow provides a technique to probe flow-induced microstructural changes in situ by means of mechanical spectroscopy. Oscillations perpendicular to the main shear flow possess intrinsic advantages over the parallel case. It is shown that the closed loop system of a force rebalanced transducer of an existing rheometer can be modified to drive an orthogonal oscillatory motion and to measure the material response. Nonhomogeneous flow, annular pumping or cavitation can occur and have to be avoided by means of a suitable flow cell. A double walled Couette cell, open at the bottom is suggested for that purpose. The device is evaluated with Newtonian fluids and with a viscoelastic polymer solution. The apparatus has two major advantages. First the forces associated with the main shear flow can be measured simultaneously with the orthogonal moduli. Second, the present design is implemented on an instrument already capable of performing parallel superposition measurements, hence the two superposition modes are available on a single instrument. The relative simplicity of the proposed modification could boost the use of orthogonal superposition measurements and facilitate the development of new applications, e.g., to probe the time evolution of the flow-induced anisotropy in complex systems. (C) 1997 American Institute of Physics. [S0034-6748(97)00411-5].