We report the design of a multipass microrheometer that can be fully customizable at a low cost and reasonable time, which allows us to perform experiments rapidly and in a broad range of shear rates (i.e., from 0.1 to 100 s−1), using small amounts of material (i.e., just some milligrams). Additionally, the low-cost approach opens for an easy parallelization of the setup that makes it suitable for high-throughput rheological experimentation of polymer melts (HT-Rheo-E). The novel rheometer consists of a microchannel (i.e., a microcapillary or a microslit) in which the fluid flows driven by two controlled millimetric pistons (diameter of 2 mm). Two piezoelectric miniaturized pressure sensors are placed at the microchannel entrance and exit to record the pressure drop across the capillary during the motion. The current work reports the design of the rheometer with two different cross sections of the microchannel, i.e., circular and rectangular, and measurements of the shear viscosity with a Newtonian and a non-Newtonian polymer over a wide range of shear rates using less than 1 g of sample. We demonstrate that the current multipass microrheometer can measure viscoelastic properties of polymers by applying an oscillatory flow. The printed setup is of potential interest for applications in quality control in industrial production, in natural systems (such as starch-based mixtures) and academic research where rapid and repeated measurements using limited milligrams of polymer are required (e.g., biological systems).
A versatile and customizable low-cost printed multipass microrheometer for high-throughput polymers rheological experimentation
Note: This paper is part of the special topic, Rheology Testing and Analysis of Polymers.
D. Tammaro, P. L. Maffettone; A versatile and customizable low-cost printed multipass microrheometer for high-throughput polymers rheological experimentation. Physics of Fluids 1 June 2023; 35 (6): 063116. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0150886
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