Analysis of a wide range of polymeric fluids and solids using rheological techniques

Rheology research laboratories test polymeric materials for rheological (flow) properties. Rheology labs, such as Intertek, determine these properties for degradation studies, determining molding parameters, materials performance, and other application characterization of materials includes polymers, liquids, adhesives and other samples using a wide range of shear and extensional conditions.

Understanding the rheological (flow) properties of a polymer helps obtain optimized material properties during the molding process. Rheology testing can determine if materials are processed properly with minimal product degradation, and also measure the viscosity of a polymer ranging from single point tests to variable shear-rate tests.

Rheological characterization can be accomplished using a wide range of shear and tensile conditions. This data can be used for many purposes including: quality assurance, product development, and to better understand material performance. In addition, rheology testing can determine if materials are processed properly with minimal product degradation or to understand the flow properties that are critical in QA molding application.

Let Intertek help you optimize your products and process conditions, thereby saving you costs and minimize potential waste.

Fluids analyzed include:

  • Oils
  • Dispersions
  • Emulsions
  • Solutions
  • Slurries
  • Resins
  • Lotions
  • Polymer melts
  • Greases

Fluid Rheology tests are performed while the polymer is in the melt phase or while the polymer has been dissolved in a solvent for Intrinsic Viscosity and Relative Viscosity.

Solids analyzed:

  • Polymer plaques
  • Polymer pellets
  • Elastomers
  • Rubbers
  • Fibers
  • Films
  • Composites
  • Thermoplastics
  • Thermosets
  • Molded articles
  • Adhesives

Rheology tests:

  • Frequency sweeps
  • Temperature ramps
  • Intrinsic viscosity and relative viscosity (dependent on solvent)
  • Creep (flow under a given force or stress) and creep recovery
  • Stress relaxation (change in force for a given deformation)
  • Thermal stability
  • Melt viscosity

Many of these techniques fall under the umbrella of Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA).  These DMA tests often provide a mechanical fingerprint for a material. 

DMA can determine properties such as:

  • Tg and breadth of Tg
  • Secondary transitions
  • Crosslink density
  • Viscoelastic nature
  • Modulus
  • Mechanical properties
  • Cure properties
  • Master curves

Contact our experts to discuss the most relevant way to use rheology for your application.  Ultimately, possessing a better understanding about your material’s properties will enable you to proceed towards the creation of a product with improved performance.

Contact Intertek