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Linear Rheology of Guar Gum Solutions

American Chemical Society
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We have investigated the linear viscoelastic behavior of guar gum solutions as a function of frequency, temperature, polymer concentration, and molecular weight. This was done to sort out the importance of different relaxation mechanisms like reptation or the breakup of physical bonds. In the kilohertz regime, Rouse behavior is observed. At lower frequencies, two storage modulus plateau zones were found, indicating two additional relaxations. One is operative between 1 and 100 Hz and gives rise to a very broad relaxation spectrum, even for monodisperse guar. Describing the dependencies of the relaxation time and low-shear viscosity on concentration and molecular weight with power laws resulted in unusually high coefficients. The second relaxation becomes manifest below 0.01 Hz and has not been earlier reported. Here the temperature dependence is very strong whereas all other dependencies are weak. Analyzing the experiments with existing models for transient polymer networks revealed that at best a partial decription of the experimental dependencies can be obtained. It was concluded that at least two different relaxation mechanisms must play a role, classical reptation not being one of these. Best overall predictions were obtained with a model assuming two types of associations. However, also the picture of star polymer-like structures held together via bonds with a long lifetime could give comparable predictions. For a further distinction between these mechanisms, more information about the mesoscopic structure is needed.

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