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Title:Gelation Kinetics of Fumed Silica-Alcohol Suspensions
Author(s):Smith, William E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zukoski, Charles F.
Department / Program:Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Discipline:Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Engineering, Chemical
Abstract:Aggregation and gelation kinetics of fumed silica were investigated by altering the solvent-surface interactions. Native and surface-modified (hydrophobic) fumed silica particles were dispersed in short-chain linear alcohols. Based on the kinetics of aggregation and gelation, it is shown that the solvent-surface interactions have a tremendous impact on the bulk suspension properties. The gelation kinetics were qualitatively similar in all of the fumed silica-alcohol samples, and the gel times for all the alcohols were captured on a master curve requiring two parameters. The two parameters, the stability ratio and critical volume fraction, describe the two regimes of gelation. At low concentrations, gelation occurs due to aggregation of the particles diffusing over a potential barrier (15--25 kT). The rate of aggregation and time to gelation then scales with the stability ratio. At high particle loadings, gelation occurs at a critical volume fraction due to localization in a secondary minimum with a depth of 3--4 kT. The presence of the secondary minimum is also observed in the microstructure of the gels studied using X-ray scattering. These observations are supported by evidence of hydrogen bonding between the solvent and the particle, creating oscillatory solvation forces that govern the magnitude of these two parameters.
Issue Date:2006
Description:72 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242997
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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