X-ray scattering measurements of particle orientation in a sheared polymer/clay dispersion

Saswati Pujari, Leah Dougherty, Christophe Mobuchon, Pierre J. Carreau, Marie Claude Heuzey, Wesley R. Burghardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We report steady and transient measurements of particle orientation in a clay dispersion subjected to shear flow. An organically modified clay is dispersed in a Newtonian polymer matrix at a volume fraction of 0.02, using methods previously reported by Mobuchon et al. (Rheol Acta 46: 1045, 2007). In accord with prior studies, mechanical rheometry shows yield stress-like behavior in steady shear, while time dependent growth of modulus is observed following flow cessation. Measurements of flow-induced orientation in the flow-gradient plane of simple shear flow using small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS) are reported. Both SAXS and WAXS reveal increasing particle orientation as shear rate is increased. Partial relaxation of nanoparticle orientation upon flow cessation is well correlated with time-dependent changes in complex modulus. SAXS and WAXS data provide qualitatively similar results; however, some quantitative differences are attributed to differences in the length scales probed by these techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalRheologica Acta
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Nanocomposite
  • Particle orientation
  • X-ray scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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