Date of Original Version
J. Rheol. 45(1), January/February 2001
Abstract or Table of Contents
We study the elasto-capillary self-thinning and ultimate breakup of three polystyrene-based ideal elastic fluids by measuring the evolution in the filament diameter as slender viscoelastic threads neck and eventually break. We examine the dependence of the transient diameter profile and the time to breakup on the molecular weight, and compare the observations with simple theories for breakup of slender viscoelastic filaments. The evolution of the transient diameter profile predicted by a multimode FENE-P model quantitatively matches the data provided the initial stresses in the filament are taken into account. Finally, we show how the transient uniaxial extensional viscosity of a dilute polymer solution can be estimated from the evolution in the diameter of the necking filament. The resulting ‘‘apparent extensional viscosity’’ profiles are compared with similar results obtained from a filament stretching rheometer. Both transient profiles approach the same value for the steady state extensional viscosity, which increases with molecular weight in agreement with the Rouse–Zimm theory. The apparent discrepancy in the growth rate of the two transient curves can be quantitatively explained by examining the effective stretch rate in each configuration. Filament thinning studies and filament stretching experiments thus form complementary experiments that lead to consistent measures of the transient extensional viscosity of a given test fluid.