Optical properties of concentrated dispersions

Molloy, Peter J. (1986) Optical properties of concentrated dispersions. Doctoral thesis, City of London Polytechnic.


Apparatus and methods have been developed to measure the diffuse transmittance T and reflectance R of multiple scattering, concentrated, colloidal dispersions. The variation of R and T with pathlength, wavelength, and concentration has been investigated for non-spherical particles in concentrated dispersions, over a range of pH and surfactant concentrations.

Measurements of diffuse transmittance and reflectance required large corrections to be made £->r the presence of any specular interfaces i.e. windows.

These corrections were minimised by developing a bifurcated fibre optic bundle reflectance method, which allowed R and T to be measured at volume fractions up to at least 0.3.

Using magnetic, acoustic and shear fields to align the non-spherical kaolinite particles changes In R and T were measured at volume fractions upto 0.3.

The amplitude of the changes and the relaxation of the changes Induced by the applied fields were measured. The amplitude of the change was found to vary strongly with pH and surfactant concentration. For any particular face diameter platelet, the amplitude of the change followed closely the flocculation process, and was sensitive to the mode of particle-particle aggregation, e.g. face-face, or face-edge. The amount of surfactant per unit mass of kaolinite required to stabilise dispersions Is found to vary with particle size and concentration.

This showed that information about particle orientation can be obtained through multiple scattering systems when subjected to an aligning field.

Kubelka-Munk two flux theory was used to relate R and T to the diffuse flux scattering parameter S. A simple theory was developed relating S to the size shape and orientation of the non-spherical particles, hence allowing the particle orientation to be determined for any aligning field

The insight Into particle behaviour given by the optical method Is superior to that given by rheology alone, which does not provide an unambiguous measure of the mode of particle alignment.

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