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Droplet breakup in concentrated emulsions

The Society of Rheology
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In this paper we report an experimental study on the conditions for droplet breakup in concentrated emulsions under simple shear flow. We present a set of experiments where the ratio between drop and matrix viscosity was varied from 0.1 to 22 and the volume fraction ranged from 0% to 70%. It was observed that the critical shear rate for breakup decreased by more than an order of magnitude for the most concentrated emulsions. Further, drops with viscosity ratio of 22 were seen to rupture in simple shear as soon as the emulsion concentration was raised to 40%. All these effects were conveniently explained by means of a mean field model which assumes simply that breakup of a droplet in a concentrated emulsion is determined by the average emulsion viscosity rather than the continuous phase viscosity.

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