Effect of ethanol addition on the elongational flow behavior of aqueous solution of poly(ethylene oxide)

M. F. Torres, A. J. Müller, A. E. Sáez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this work, we explore the effect of ethanol addition on the extension thickening behavior of aqueous solutions of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) in porous media and opposed-jets flow. The main aspect analyzed is the formation of transient entanglements of polymer molecules, which are responsible for the sudden increase in pressure drops and apparent extensional viscosities with strain rates observed in elongational flows of PEO solutions. The results show that changing the solvent by adding ethanol modifies the solution behavior because of two effects. First, the increase in the solvent viscosity increases the disentanglement time of the transient entanglements so that the onset of extension thickening occurs at lower strain rates in the presence of ethanol. Second, ethanol solutions are poorer solvents than water for PEO. This promotes intermolecular interactions between PEO coils when the solutions are semi-dilute. The net result is a lowering of the onset strain rate for extension thickening to values that are much smaller than those expected for the same PEO chains dissolved in a higher viscosity and poorer solvent. The results also show that coil-coil interactions in solution can be detected at lower concentrations in porous media flow than in opposed jets flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalPolymer Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Ethanol
  • Opposed jets
  • Poly(ethylene oxide)
  • Porous media
  • Semi-dilute solutions
  • Transient networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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