Microfluidic rheology of methylcellulose solutions in hyperbolic contractions and the effect of salt in shear and extensional flows

Benjamin Micklavzina, Athena E. Metaxas, Cari S. Dutcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Methylcellulose solutions are known to form microfibrils at elevated temperatures or in the presence of salt. The fibrils have a significant impact on the solution's rheological properties. Here, the shear and extensional properties of methylcellulose solutions with added salt are measured using hyperbolic microfluidic channels, allowing for new characterization at lower molecular weights and higher shear and strain rates that are difficult to access by macroscale rheology studies. 1 and 2 wt% methylcellulose solutions with molecular weight of 150 kg mol−1with NaCl content between 0 to 5 wt% have been characterized. All solutions were found to be shear thinning, with power law thinning behavior at shear rates above 100 s−1. The addition of NaCl up to 5 wt% had only small effects on shear viscosity at the shear rates probed (100 s−1and 10 000 s−1). Extensional viscosities as low as 0.02 Pa s were also measured. Unlike the results for shear viscosity, the addition of 5 wt% NaCl caused significant changes in extensional viscosity, increasing by up to 10 times, depending on extension rate. Additionally, all solutions tested showed apparent extensional thinning in the high strain rate regime (>100 s−1), which has not been reported in other studies of methylcellulose solutions. These findings may provide insight for those using methylcellulose solutions in process designs involving extensional flows over a wide range of strain rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5273-5281
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 14 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under Award Number DMR-1420013. Part of this work was carried out in the Polymer Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which has received capital equipment funding from the NSF through the UMN MRSEC under Award Number DMR-1420013. Portions of this work were conducted in the Minnesota Nano Center, which is supported by the National Science Foundation through the National Nano Coordinated Infrastructure Network (NNCI) under Award Number ECCS-1542202. A. M. was supported through an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020.

MRSEC Support

  • Primary

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Microfluidic rheology of methylcellulose solutions in hyperbolic contractions and the effect of salt in shear and extensional flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this