Effect of incorporation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes on the microstructure and flow behavior of highly concentrated emulsions

Sharu Bhagavathi Kandy, George P. Simon, Wenlong Cheng, Johann Zank, Kapil Joshi, Dharmesh Gala, Arup R. Bhattacharyya

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Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were incorporated into highly concentrated water-in-oil emulsions with the ultimate aim of achieving a uniform and effective dispersion of MWCNTs within the emulsion matrix. The emulsion was formulated in such a way, wherein the internal phase consists of higher than 90 wt %. By keeping the same aqueous-to-oil phase ratio, the amount of MWCNTs in the oil phase was systematically adjusted to investigate their effects on the microstructure development and rheological behavior of the emulsion. The addition of MWCNTs led to a reduced droplet size and also resulted in a narrower distribution of the droplet size. The rheological behavior of nanotube-incorporated emulsions was characterized with varying MWCNT concentrations and also as a function of the emulsification time. The rheological characteristics of the nanotube-incorporated emulsions were identical to those of the neat emulsion and were primarily governed by the variation in the droplet size and droplet-size distribution. However, the yield strain and cross-over strain were independent of the mean droplet size and polydispersity of the emulsion. Emulsions that have smaller droplets exhibited higher storage modulus (G′), yield stress (τY), and apparent viscosity (n). For all refining times investigated, nanotube-incorporated emulsions have higher G′, τY, and n values when compared to the neat emulsion, and these values further increased with the MWCNT concentration. This was primarily due to the decrease in the droplet size with MWCNT addition. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the incorporated MWCNTs did not induce any significant change in the rheological behavior of emulsions with identical droplet sizes, and it remained essentially unchanged with the concentration of MWCNTs. However, the nanotube-incorporated emulsions possessed solidlike behavior up to a higher applied stress when compared to a neat emulsion of identical droplet size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13584-13597
Number of pages14
JournalACS Omega
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2018

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