• suspension rheology;
  • bimodal suspension;
  • core-shell particle;
  • swollen particle;
  • carboxylated group;
  • critical shear stress;
  • interparticle distance;
  • Brownian dynamics


The rheological behavior and microstructure of bimodal suspensions of core-shell structured swollen particles have been examined with changing volume ratio of two different sized particles. As the volume fraction of large particles increases, the viscosity, degree of shear-thinning, and the critical shear stress σc decreases, while the interparticle distance ξ of the microstructure increases. The suspensions exhibit single mode rheological behavior and have a single diffraction peak in the SAXS profiles. These results suggest that the bimodal suspensions of the core-shell structured swollen particles behave likely to unimodal suspensions of hard spheres with alloy like single mode microstructure composed of hypothetical intermediate size particle. The relationship between σc and ξ can be represented as σc = 3kT/4πξ3, which corresponds to the dynamics of the Brownian hard sphere model with ξ being the particle diameter. These findings indicate that the shear-thinning of the suspensions can be attributed to dynamical competition between the thermal motion and the hydrodynamic motion under shear flow and that the mechanism can be applied to bimodal suspensions of the swollen particles as well as unimodal suspensions of hard spheres. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 102: 2212–2217, 2006