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Keywords:

  • microbubbles;
  • capillary tube;
  • rheology;
  • viscosity

The viscosity of microbubbles has been measured in capillary tubes. Experiments were conducted in tubes of different diameters and lengths, with a constant microbubble concentration. The effects of bubble void fraction and size distribution on the viscosity of microbubbles were also investigated. Microbubbles demonstrate shear-thinning non-Newtonian behavior. The viscosity of microbubbles decreases with a decrease in tube diameter and bubble void fraction, and with an increase in tube length. Although viscosity changes with tube dimensions, the flow index (n) is only influenced by the microbubble void fraction. It is also found that bubble size distribution in the range (1–12 µm) used in this study does not affect the viscosity of microbubbles. The data were then used to develop a correlation to predict viscosity of microbubbles, which represents the experimental viscosity data with an absolute average relative deviation less than 1.3%. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 2660–2669, 2014