Dynamic shear rheology of colloidal suspensions of surface-modified silica nanoparticles in PEG

  • Swarna
  • Sudip Kumar Pattanayek
  • Anup Kumar Ghosh
Research Paper


The present work illustrates the effect of surface modification of silica nanoparticles (500 nm) with 3-(glycidoxypropyl)trimethoxy silane which was carried out at different reaction times. The suspensions prepared from modified and unmodified silica nanoparticles were evaluated for their shear rate-dependent viscosity and strain-frequency-dependent modulus. The linear viscoelastic moduli, viz., storage modulus and loss modulus, were compared with those of nonlinear moduli. The shear-thickened suspensions displayed strain thinning at low-frequency smaller strains and a strong strain overshoot at higher strains, characteristics of a continuous shear thickening fluids. The shear-thinned suspension, conversely, exhibited a strong elastic dominance at smaller strains, but at higher strains, its strain softened observed in the steady shear viscosity plot indicating characteristics of yielding material. Considering higher order harmonic components, the decomposed elastic and viscous stress revealed a pronounced elastic response up to 10% strain and a high viscous damping at larger strains. The current work is one of a kind in demonstrating the effect of silica surface functionalization on the linear and nonlinear viscoelasticity of suspensions showing a unique rheological fingerprint. The suspensions can thus be predicted through rheological studies for their applicability in energy absorbing and damping materials with respect to their mechanical properties.


Microstructural changes in the suspenions corresponding to their flow behaviour.


Colloidal suspensions Silica modification Nonlinear rheology Shear thickening Strain thinning Nanoparticles 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swarna
    • 1
  • Sudip Kumar Pattanayek
    • 2
  • Anup Kumar Ghosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Polymer Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology DelhiHauz KhasIndia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology DelhiHauz KhasIndia

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