DOI: 10.1002/elps.202300163 ISSN: 0173-0835

Tracking colloidal silica particles to evaluate their dispersion and interactions in concentrated suspensions under shear force applications

Mohazzam Saeed, Akira Otsuki, Michiel Hermes, Ali Zain ul Hassan, Abdullah Aziz
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry


This study aimed to characterize interactions within colloidal silica particles in their concentrated suspensions, using rheo‐confocal measurements and imaging, followed by image analysis. We studied the effect of shear rate (0–500 s–1) and solution pH (6, 10) on the dispersion degree of colloidal silica particles via the determination and comparison of interparticle distances and their modeling. Images corresponding to different shear rates were analyzed to identify the coordinates of the particles. These coordinates were further analyzed to calculate the distance among the particles and then their surface‐to‐surface distance normalized by the particle diameter (H/D). It was found that the population of the particles per unit area of the image and H/D varied with increasing shear rate. The comparison between experimentally measured and theoretically calculated H/D identified that for some particles, the former was shorter than the latter, indicating the unexpected attractions among them against the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory. Then, the modification of previously reported equations for H/D was suggested and confirmed its validity. Assuming pair potential interaction and hydrodynamic interaction were the main non‐DLVO interactions, their magnitudes were calculated and confirmed the significance of pH and shear application strength on particle dispersion/coagulation.

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