Rheological properties of concentrated polymer solution: Polybutadiene in good and θ solvents


  • Communication No. 3621 from National Chemical Laboratory, Poona, India.


The zero shear viscosity, η° of three polybutadiene samples having different molecular weights over a wide range of concentration (1.0–35.0% polymer) in good and θ solvents has been studied. Superposition of viscosity data has been made to give a single composite curve for each solvent by shifting them vertically by a factor (M°/M)3.4, where M° represents the molecular weight of the reference sample. The shift factor is found to be proportional to M3.4 in the region of higher concentration, which indicates that the 3.4-power law is valid for the data of polybutadiene. The double-logarithmic plots of relative viscosity η°r as a function of c5M3.4 yielded a single composite curve approximating a straight line with slope of unity at the higher values of the variables. The results indicate that over a considerable range of the variables (molecular weight and concentration) at a constant temperature, the relative viscosity is a single function of c5M3.4. The results for double-logarithmic plots of zero shear specific viscosity η°csp as a function of concentration confirmed those observed in polycholoroprene samples studied earlier that the η0sp values in θ solvents at higher concentration region are found to be higher than those found in good solvents, whereas in the moderately concentrated region the values are just opposite in θ and good solvents. The viscosity crossover in θ solvents is not as sharp as is found in case of polychloroprene samples and that crossover, too, has taken place in the range of concentration of 11.7–31.6% polymer, which is comparatively higher than that of polychloroprene samples (6.06–21.0% polymer). The results indicate some relation between viscosity crossover and polymer polarity, supporting the idea of enhanced intermolecular association in poor solvents. To correlatethe viscosity data obtained in good and poor solvents, two methods, one given by Graessley and the other given by Dreval and coworkers involving the correlating variable c[η], were considered. The plots of relative viscosity η°, versus the correlating variable c[η] in benzene (good solvent) yielded one curve, but in the case of θ solvents (dioxane and isobutyl acetate), the same plots yielded three separate curves instead of a single curve, which is rather unusual. The appropriate correction on the correlating variable for chain contraction in the concentrated region in a good solvent moved the data to a common curve, especially in lower concentration region, but at the higher concentration region a slight overestimation of data seems to have been effected. On the other hand, the plots of log η as a function of correlating variable c[η] yielded a single curve for three samples in the good solvent benzene, but in poor solvents (diozane and isobutyl acetate) the same plots yielded three separate curves for three samples instead of a single curve, the reason for which is not known at present. However, the normalization of the correlating variable c[η] with Martin constant KM reduced all experimental data of the polymer samples to a common curve. The correlation of the viscosity data by either of the two methods seems to be possible in the case of the nonpolar flexible polymer, polybutadiene.