University of Delaware - College of Engineering

Rheology of Colloidal Suspensions

May 7 & 8, 2012
A UD course at TA Instruments in New Castle, DE - open enrollment!

Register Online! - NOTE that, as of 4/27/12, there is only one seat remaining!

Course Description

We are extremely pleased to collaborate with TA Instruments to bring this extremely popular course to Delaware!

This is the perfect course for students and practitioners of colloid rheology in industry as well as academia. A basic understanding of physical chemistry is necessary, and while some familiarity with colloidal science and basic rheology is helpful, it is not required.

This intensive and extremely practical course provides an introduction to the rheology of colloidal dispersions with emphasis on measurement and interpretation of rheological measurements on colloidal dispersions. This suspension course builds on the fundamental understanding of how various properties of colloids and their interactions lead to the observed rheological behavior in a systematic treatment. This starts with systems where only purely hydrodynamic effects are present (i.e., suspensions with non-colloidal particles). Next, colloidal particles are introduced; with Brownian motion but without any particle interaction force. After that, systems with additionally repulsive interparticle forces are dealt with: i.e., colloidally stable systems. Finally attractive forces are added which can lead to flocculated suspensions and colloidal gels. The methods of rheological measurement design and execution are discussed, treating the special difficulties that arise in the case of suspensions. Case studies will be analyzed to illustrate the basic concepts of the course. Finally, special advanced topics can be discussed, depending on participant interests.


This course enables you to:

  • learn from two instructors with unparalleled background in the rheology of colloids;
  • gain a qualitative understanding of the various phenomena that contribute to the rheology of suspensions;
  • use scaling relations and quantitative laws to predict the basic rheology of such systems;
  • apply what you learn to develop strategies for measuring, characterizing and designing suspensions with well-defined processing or application properties;
  • network and engage with colleagues in the field, discussing relevant and practical problems.

In addition,

  • Time will be allotted to address problems and issues submitted by participants prior to the course. Participants who have a particular issue they would like to see addressed can submit that topic through e-mail. (Such issues will be compiled and forwarded to the course presenters prior to the course.)
  • Course materials will include class notes as well as a copy of Colloidal Suspension Rheology, authored by Jan Mewis and Norman J. Wagner, and published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press (ISBN-13: 9780521515993).

The Presenters

With over 50 years of academic and industrial research experience in the colloid rheology laboratory, including over 100 publications and patents on the topic, Professors Mewis and Wagner have prepared and often presented this short course designed to introduce a beginning colloid rheologist to the field. Both have lectured extensively on the topic and have taught short courses at both the beginner and more advanced levels, including courses for the Society of Rheology in the US and the European Rheology Society.

Jan Mewis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Catholic University of Leuven, is involved in industrial and academic research in complex fluids such as suspensions and polymer blends. Professor Mewis has lectured world-wide and has written over 200 publications on colloid science and rheology. He was chairman of the International Committee on Rheology and is the recipient of the Gold Medal of the British Society of Rheology and the Bingham Medal of the Society of Rheology (USA).

Norman J. Wagner, the Alvin B. and Julia O. Stiles Professor and Chair of UD's Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware, has extensive international teaching and research experience and leads an active research group covering fields such as rheology, complex fluids, polymers, nanotechnology and particle technology. Professor Wagner has received several awards for his research developments, has co-authored over 140 scientific publications and patents and is on the editorial boards of five international journals. He currently serves on the executive board of the Society of Rheology and the Neutron Scattering Society of America.

Agenda Topics

  1. Rheological Concepts and Rheological Phenomena in Colloidal Dispersions
    • Basic rheological concepts
    • Overview of rheological phenomena in suspensions (based on case studies)
    • Introduction to Colloid Science
  2. Hydrodynamic Effects (Suspensions of Large Particles)
    • Dilute systems: Relative viscosity and Einstein relation
    • Semi-dilute systems: Hydrodynamic interactions
    • Concentrate systems: Maximum packing, viscosity-concentration relations, effect of particle size distribution
  3. Suspensions of Brownian Particles
    • Mechanism of Brownian motion
    • Contribution of Brownian motion to the viscosity
    • Viscoelasticity in suspensions of Brownian Hard Spheres (scaling relations)
    • Structure-Property Relations: Shear thinning and shear thickening
  4. Colloidally Stable Suspensions
    • Electrostatic and Steric stabilization, resulting suspension structure
    • Effect of interparticle repulsion on dilute suspensions
    • Viscosity of concentrated stable suspensions, scaling relations
    • Viscoelastic effects, link to interparticle potential, scaling relations
  5. Flocculated Suspensions
    • Mechanisms of flocculation (electrostatic, depletion, bridging ...)
    • Structure of flocculated systgems (flocs, agglomerates, particle gels, their description of RDF, fractals, perc theory, stat diagrams)
    • Viscosity of dilute, flocculated systems
    • Gels and glasses
    • Thixotrophy (reversible time effects)
  6. Rheological Measurements of Suspensions
    • Special requirements and problems (based on case studies)
    • Measurement strategies
  7. Formulation of suspensions for controlled rheology
    • Design rules for formulation suspensions with a given rheology (based on case studies)
  8. Advanced Topics in Colloidal Suspension Rheology (depending on participant preferences)
    • Suspensions in viscoelastic media (filled polymers, nanocomposites)
    • Suspensions containing non-spherical particles (fibers, rods, ...)
    • Microrheology
    • Other topics determined by pre-submitted suggestions from participants

Registration and General Information

Class times: 8 am-5 pm

Program Fee (detailed below) includes course materials, including a copy of Colloidal Suspension Rheology, the text co-written by the course presenters. It also includes continental breakfasts, lunches and breaks on both days. Parking at the TA Instruments site is free.

    Early Reg
(due by March 30)
Late Reg (due April 20)
Non-student:   $625 $700
Student:   $325 $425
Registration confirmation with detailed directions will be sent by e-mail to each participant on or before the week of April 23, 2012. The class sessions will be held at TA Instruments, 159 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720

CANCELLATIONS and SUBSTITUTIONS: Refunds granted if the request is received in writing by April 20. No refunds after that date, but substitutions are permitted up to the first day of class.
ACCOMMODATIONS and TRANSPORTATION: Participants are responsible for making their own housing and transportation arrangements.  Air transportation should be arranged to either Philadelphia or Baltimore airport. Hotels close to TA Instruments and providing complimentary shuttle service to TA Instruments include the following:
Clarion Hotel - The Belle: 1612 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720; 302-428-1440 ($89 + tax/night)
Christiana Hilton: 100 Continental Dr., Newark, DE 19713; 302-454-0233 ($99 + tax/night)
Inn at Wilmington: 300 Rocky Run Pkwy, Wilmington, DE 19803; 302-479-7900 ($119 + tax/night)

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