Rheology and flow-induced liquid crystal phase transitions in thermotropic polyethers
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This work investigates the interdependence of the phase behaviour, viscosity, temperature, molecular weight and shear rates of thermotropic liquid crystalline polyethers. The viscosity of the isotropic and nematic phases are quantitatively compared; a positive variation in viscosity with respect to temperature is found, with the isotropic viscosity being about an order of magnitude higher than the liquid crystalline viscosity. The dependence of viscosity upon molecular weight of well defined fractions is investigated in both the liquid-crystal and isotropic phases. In the liquid crystalline state the viscosity scales with M3.5–5. Variations in the viscosity due to temperature changes affect the isotropic phase more than the liquid crystal phase. No evidence for a negative first normal stress difference is seen. Finally, it is shown how the phase diagram of the material can be altered by shearing the material in the isotropic phase. This is evident by the onset of a shear thinning region at temperatures slightly above Ti, which can be attributed to the formation of shear induced liquid crystallinity.
KeywordsViscosity Molecular Weight Phase Transition Phase Diagram Shear Rate
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