Modeling rheological behavior of bentonite suspensions as Casson and Robertson-Stiff fluids using Newtonian and true shear rates in Couette viscometry

V. C. Kelessidis, R. Maglione

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The Casson model and the Robertson-Stiff model have been used to determine whether they can describe the rheology of aqueous bentonite suspensions. The assessment utilized a total of twelve sets of experimental viscometric data from literature and from this work. Equations have been presented which allowed the determination of the true shear rates experienced by the fluids within the gap of the rotational viscometer for both rheological models. Non-linear regression has been applied to determine the two rheological parameters for the Casson model and the three rheological parameters for the Robertson-Stiff model using true shear rates and Newtonian shear rates, which are used most often in the analysis of rheometric data. The results showed that both models describe well the experimental data of these bentonite suspensions with good statistical indicators. Furthermore, analysis showed that true shear rates are always higher than Newtonian shear rates for both models. The differences depend on the particular suspension and are larger at low shear rates while they become smaller at higher shear rates indicating that the fluid behavior approaches Newtonian behavior at higher shear rates. The shapes of the rheograms remained essentially unchanged indicating that the rheological parameters determined with the use of true shear rates are very similar to the rheological parameters determined with the use of Newtonian shear rates. This was further confirmed with the computation of the rheological parameters for both models and both approaches. For the Casson model differences in the yield value computed with true shear rates were at most at 7% while for the plastic viscosity at 3%. For the Robertson-Stiff model, differences of the order of 2 to 5% were observed for the K-values, of 7% for γ ̇0-values while no differences were observed for the n-values. These small differences, however, do not justify use of Newtonian shear rates when analytical solutions exist which allow use of true shear rates without any compromise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-147
Number of pages14
JournalPowder Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2006



  • Casson model
  • Couette viscometer
  • Non-Newtonian fluid rheology
  • Robertson-Stiff model
  • Shear rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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