The influence of powder packing on the rheology of fibre-loaded pastes
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The effects of fibre addition on the extrusion rheology of ceramic particulate pastes has been investigated using model pastes containing chopped glass fibre and alumina powders. In these pastes where the fibre diameter was much larger than the alumina particle diameter, there was a decrease in the pressure required to extrude the paste as the powder component was replaced by fibre, up to a ratio of 0.4 powder to 0.6 fibre by volume. When the pastes were characterized using physically based models this behaviour was reflected in lower values of the derived rheological parameters. It is shown that this behaviour can largely be attributed to the packing behaviour of the fibre and powder-phase components. The results also suggest that the presence of fibres increases the die entry pressure drop relative to the die land pressure drop. It is shown that while the models proposed by Milewski in combination with the rheological models can be used to illustrate the expected behaviour of composite pastes, the observed behaviour was better predicted by using modified models proposed by Karlsson and Spring. At high fibre loadings (>60 vol%), extrudable materials could not be formed; this was attributed to packing and mixing problems leading to increased fibre-fibre interaction preventing flow. This is highlighted by materials in which the ratio of powder to fibre was 1 to 4 by volume, where the paste-like body was compressible and exhibited some elastic springback. For pastes where the solid phase contains <50 vol% fibre the rheological behaviour is predictable if the packing behaviour of the fibre and the rheological behaviour of the pastes containing only the powder are known. This can be used as a tool to aid the design of composite pastes and for the development of suitable process equipment.
KeywordsRheological Behaviour Entry Pressure Fibre Loading Extrudable Material Fibre Addition
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