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Newtonian flow characteristics shows that, at constant temperature and pressure, the shear
stress (τ) is proportional to shear rate (γ) with dynamic viscosity (η) acting as a constant of
proportionality. In past decades, there has been growing realization that various materials
which has industrial importance, mostly of multi-phase nature (e.g. foams, emulsions,
dispersions and suspensions, slurries), polymeric melts and both natural and man-made
solutions do not obey the Newtonian law which postulates a linear relationship between
shear stress and shear rate (Chhabra, 2010). Fluids deviates from the Newtonian behaviour
when the simple shear data of τ vs. γ does not go through the origin or is not in linear
This experiment investigates the steady shear viscosity of a specific non-Newtonian polymer
solution, Carboxyl-Methyl-Cellulose (CMC) dissolved in water at different concentrations
and temperatures with capillary lengths 1.00, 1.75 and 2.00 m. The rheological power law is
then to be determined based on the experimental results obtained and further data tabulation.

Rheological properties of CMC solutions have been experimented on numerous times.
Ghannam & Esmail (1997) reported that CMC solutions adapted a nearly Newtonian
behavior for low concentrations, and pseudoplastic, thixothropic, as well as viscoelastic1 at
higher concentrations. The concentration ranged between 1% - 5%. However, there was no
mention regarding the polymer’s molecular weight. Another study by Edali et al. (2001)
confirmed that CMC solutions at higher concentrations exhibits both non-Newtonian and
viscoelastic properties.
Lin & Ko (1995) in their experiment found that not all non-Newtonian fluids behave the
same way when subjected to manipulating variables of temperature and concentration. In the
experiment, aqueous polymer solution Sodium Carboxylmethylcellulose (CMC) is
compared with another aqueous polymer solution Carbopol (neutralized) which in
conclusion shows that the susceptibility of the steady shear rate properties to temperature
change is higher in sodium CMC compared to Carbopol. On the other hand, the steady shear
properties of Carbopol solution is found to be more sensitive to concentration compared to
sodium CMC.
The theory makes use of the implication that a fluid flow through the capillary rheometer of
uniform cross section progresses in a laminar flow, with the pressure drop per unit length of
the tube for a time-independent fluid is constant. A fully developed laminar flow is the
premise of the capillary rheometer.

Provided that the flow is laminar, and the fluid is Newtonian, Hagen and Poiseuille proposed
that the pressure drop ∆P at a volume flow rate Q is dependant on the shear viscosity (Winter,
L = length, m


r = radius, m

Viscoelasticity is the property of materials that exhibit both viscous and elastic characteristics when subject
to deformation.

and shear rate. r = R. the velocity profile inside the tube from Navier-Stokes equations is: = 2 1− where Q is the volumetric flow rate. in which this resistance depends on the viscosity and length linearly as well as fourth power of the tube’s radius (HyperPhysics. Integrating this equation gives us Q which is simply: = 1− where V = velocity. Q according to Poiseulle’s equation is: = ∆ 8 with µ = viscosity Equating Q obtained previously with Poisuelle’s definition of Q: 4 = Simplifying the equation and solving for ∆P: ∆ = 32 ∆ 8 . the shear stress profile inside a tube along a length L and pressure drop of ∆P: = 2 ∗ ∆ At the wall. length. From r = 0 to r = R. To start. we then manage to get Q for an average velocity through the capillary tube and expressed in terms of D: = 4 Integrating the equation above with Poiseulle’s volumetric flowrate equation for laminar flow would enable the expression of ∆P in terms of velocity. therefore the shear stress at the wall: = 2 Also can be written in terms of D = diameter: = ∗ ∆ ∆ 4 Meanwhile. This law is fit to use with experiment for flows with no significant turbulence. Poiseulle’s equation describes volumetric flowrate as the pressure difference divided by the viscous resistance.7 For this experiment. viscosity and diameter (or radius). 2000). volumetric flow rate. several equations are needed to find values for shear stress.

Rearranging the equation: ∆ 8 = 4 Previously. for a steady isothermal laminar flow. ∆ 4 = therefore = 8 Concerning the wall shear stress. The Rabinowitsch equation is then written as: the slope = + with ∆ to = on a logarithmic scale which enables ln 8 3 1 + 4 4 ′ is the correction factor to apparent shear rate = and n’ is the slope of . For Newtonian fluids.8 This equation can further be manipulated to obtain shear rate. the Rabinowitsch-Mooney equation describes a relationship between shear rate and wall shear stresss. = . the value of n’ is simply 1 which reduces the equation . For power-law fluids. therefore: = 8 which leads to the obtaining shear rate γ expressed in velocity and diameter as follows: = 8 Now. shear-thinning materials have n’ of less than 1 while shear-thickening materials have n’ of more than 1. Integration of the Rabinowitsch-Mooney equation leads to: = ∆ = 4 8 . γ. It follows the definition of the volumetric flow rate through tubes and application of “no-slip” boundary condition which then brings to: = 8 3 1 + ∗ 4 4 “True” shear rate can be obtained by plotting Q vs the evaluation of the derivative (Universita di Salerno. since viscosity µ is shear stress divided by shear rate. For non-Newtonian fluids. 2007).

the higher the value of n (where n > 1). the more the fluid exhibits pseudoplasticity or shear-thinning properties. n. CMC solution.9 Similarly. . Meanwhile. the higher the value of K. the more the fluid exhibits dilatant or shear-thickening behavior and properties. The flow index n measures how far or close the deviation from Newtonian properties while the consistency K is the measure of the average viscosity of the fluid. K. The Power Law model shows two parameters: power law index or flow index. Evidently. the higher the fluid’s viscosity. the lower the value of n (where n < 1). In simple terms. and consistency. the Power Law is in the form: = − The derivation of equations which comes down to the general Power Law for this experiment further eases the expression of experimental findings in appropriate rheological model and the determination of rheological properties of assigned material.