Alumina/water suspensions in the presence of PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymers
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The aim of this study was to investigate the stability and dispersion behaviour of aqueous alumina suspensions in the presence of polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide (PEO-PPO-PEO) type triblock copolymers. For this purpose alumina suspensions at various solids loadings were prepared using four different methods. These are: Method I: powder and water were stirred only; Method II: powder and water were stirred and ultrasonic treatment was applied; Method III: powder and water were stirred in the presence of block copolymers; Method IV: powder and water were stirred and ultrasonic treatment was applied in the presence of block copolymers. These suspensions were characterized by means of rheological measurements. Sedimentation and turbidity measurements were also conducted to support these results and to investigate the stability of these systems for longer times. Surface tension measurements were performed to investigate the adsorption behaviour of block copolymers onto alumina surface. It was found that the use of PEO-PPO-PEO type triblock copolymers improved the dispersion behaviour of aqueous alumina suspensions in the presence of ultrasonic treatment at low solids loadings. However their effect was not significant at high solids loadings and without ultrasonic treatment.