Effect of drop size distribution on the flow behavior of oil-in-water emulsions

Y. Otsubo, R. K. Prud'homme

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75 Scopus citations


The effect of drop size distribution on the viscosity was experimentally examined for oil-in-water emulsions at volume fractions of Φ = 0.5, 0.63 and 0.8. At Φ = 0.5, the hydrodynamic forces during drop collisions govern the viscosity behavior. The viscosity versus shear rate curve is scaled on the root-mean-cube diameter which is related to the number of drops per unit volume. At Φ = 0.8, the resistance to flow arises from the deformation and rearrangement of thin liquid films between drops. The viscosity at a given shear rate is inversely proportional to the volume-surface mean diameter which is related to the total interfacial area per unit volume. However, since the drops come into contact and the liquid film separating adjacent drops is generated without drop deformation at Φ = 0.63, the viscosity curve is not scaled on the mean diameter. The flow behavior near the critical volume fraction strongly depends not only on the mean drop size, but also on the width of the distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-306
Number of pages4
JournalRheologica Acta
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science


  • Oil-in-water emulsions
  • drop size distribution
  • steady shear viscosity


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