Rheology and Processing of Soft Matter

About the lab

Featured research (16)

To tackle antimicrobial resistance, a global threat identified by the United Nations, is a common cause of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and is responsible for significant costs on healthcare systems, a substantial amount of research has been devoted to developing polysaccharide-based strategies that prevent bacterial attachment and biofilm formation on surfaces. Polysaccharides are essential building blocks for life and an abundant renewable resource that have attracted much attention due to their intrinsic remarkable biological potential antibacterial activities. If converted into efficient antibacterial coatings that could be applied to a broad range of surfaces and applications, polysaccharide-based coatings could have a significant potential global impact. However, the ultimate success of polysaccharide-based antibacterial materials will be determined by their potential for use in manufacturing processes that are scalable, versatile, and affordable. Therefore, in this review we focus on recent advances in polysaccharide-based antibacterial coatings from the perspective of fabrication methods. We first provide an overview of strategies for designing polysaccharide-based antimicrobial formulations and methods to assess the antibacterial properties of coatings. Recent advances on manufacturing polysaccharide-based coatings using some of the most common polysaccharides and fabrication methods are then detailed, followed by a critical comparative overview of associated challenges and opportunities for future developments. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Our review presents a timely perspective by being the first review in the field to focus on advances on polysaccharide-based antibacterial coatings from the perspective of fabrication methods along with an overview of strategies for designing polysaccharide-based antimicrobial formulations, methods to assess the antibacterial properties of coatings as well as a critical comparative overview of associated challenges and opportunities for future developments. Meanwhile this work is specifically targeted at an audience focused on featuring critical information and guidelines for developing polysaccharide-based coatings. Including such a complementary work in the journal could lead to further developments on polysaccharide antibacterial applications.
Surface defects in highly-filled wood polymer composites (WPCs) are mapped in single-screw extrusion via inline optical spectral analysis for the first time. The effects of wood fiber content and drying on the dynamics of surface defects are spatio-temporally resolved via space–time inline optical imaging. Surface tearing appeared from the lowest shear rates investigated followed by a gradual decay in spectral intensity with increasing shear rates/slip velocities. This is accompanied by broadening of the surface tearing characteristic frequency while the average wavelength is estimated to remain constant. Increasing shear rates, drying and wood fiber content showed mitigating effects on surface tearing. However, surface tearing in undried samples was still present even at the highest shear rates and high wall slip velocities. A regime where the extrudate surface is dominated by bubbles at high shear rates and low wood fiber contents in undried WPCs was identified.
The present study highlights a range of surface and volume extrudate patterns that can be detected during the extrusion flow of long‐chain branched polymers. Thus, four linear low‐density polyethylenes (LDPEs) have been extruded using a single‐screw extruder coupled to an inline optical imaging system. The selected LDPEs are selected to outline the influence of molecular weight and long‐chain branching on the types of melt flow extrusion instabilities (MFEI). Through the inline imaging system, space–time diagrams are constructed and analyzed via Fourier‐transformation using a custom moving window procedure. Based on the number of characteristic frequencies, peak broadness, and whether they are surface or volume distortions, three main MFEI types, distinct from those typically observed in linear and short‐chain branched polymers, are identified. The higher molecular weight, low long‐chain branching LDPEs exhibited all three instability types, including a special type volume instability. Independently of the molecular weight, higher long‐chain branching appeared to have a stabilizing effect on the transition sequences by suppressing volume extrudate distortions or limiting surface patters to a form of weak intensity type.
Attractive (non-self-assembling) aqueous cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) suspensions were topologically tailored into isotropic gels through the surface grafting of dialkyl groups. We thus focus on the influence of CNC concentration, including for pristine CNC, surface linker branching, branching degree, and the influence of side group size and branch-on-branch surface-grafted groups. The resulting mobility and strength of interaction in particle-particle interaction mediated by the surface groups was investigated from a rheological point of view. The emphasis is on nonlinear material parameters from Fourier-transform rheology and stress decomposition analysis. The results show that nonlinear material parameters are more sensitive than linear viscoelastic parameters to the onset of weakly interconnected networks in pristine CNC isotropic suspensions. All surface-modified CNC suspensions resulted in isotropic gels. The nonlinear material parameters were found to be broadly sensitive to CNC concentration, branching, degree of branching and surface-grafted linkers' length. However, the length of the grafted chains and the degree of branching were the primary factors influencing the nonlinear material response. Furthermore, the results showed evidence of two strain amplitude ranges with distinct nonlinear signatures that could be attributed to the disruption of weak network connection points and to distortions of more dense (aggregate) network regions, respectively.
We examine the influence of surface charge on the percolation, gel-point and phase behavior of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) suspensions in relation to their nonlinear rheological material response. Desulfation decreases CNC surface charge density which leads to an increase in attractive forces between CNCs. Therefore, by considering sulfated and desulfated CNC suspensions, we are comparing CNC systems that differ in their percolation and gel-point concentrations relative to their phase transition concentrations. The results show that independently of whether the gel-point (linear viscoelasticity, LVE) occurs at the biphasic - liquid crystalline transition (sulfated CNC) or at the isotropic - quasi-biphasic transition (desulfated CNC), the nonlinear behavior appears to mark the existence of a weakly percolated network at lower concentrations. Above this percolation threshold, nonlinear material parameters are sensitive to the phase and gelation behavior as determined in static (phase) and LVE conditions (gel-point). However, the change in material response in nonlinear conditions can occur at higher concentrations than identified through polarized optical microscopy, suggesting that the nonlinear deformations could distort the suspensions microstructure such that for example a liquid crystalline phase (static) suspension could show microstructural dynamics similar to a biphasic system.

Lab head

Roland Kádár
  • Department of Industrial and Materials Science
About Roland Kádár
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Members (10)

Marko Bek
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Viney Ghai
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Alexandra Aulova
  • Nouryon Performance Formulations
Reza Ghanbari
  • nkt cables group
Sylwia Wojno
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Hengzhi Ruan
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Kesavan Sekar
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Ases Akas Mishra
  • Politecnico di Milano

Alumni (5)

Pooria Khalili
  • Högskolan i Borås
Karolina Gaska
  • Hitachi Energy
Mina Fazilati
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Georgia C. Manika
  • Chalmers University of Technology