In this paper, a model estimating the time-dependent distribution of cluster size consisting of fine particles in Newtonian molten polymer was proposed. The present model for agglomerative suspension was developed based on Usui's thixotropy model, derived by taking the balance between shear breakup, shear coagulation and Brownian coagulation processes. The analysis was applied to the experimental results for silica/(ethylene methyl-meta acrylate copolymer) suspensions. The time variations of cluster size distributions, of viscosities and of the mean numbers of particles in a cluster were calculated and the results were compared with experimental results for the cases of shear rates from 0.2 to 10 s-1when the solid volume fraction was set at 0.15. From the results, it was found that the present model can estimated the steady state values of the slurry viscosity and the mean particle numbers in a cluster as well as Usui's original model. However, the model could not sufficiently express the time variation of rheological characteristics due to the over-estimation of the contribution of shear rate when the cluster size is small. © 2008 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier BV and The Society of Powder Technology Japan.
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