Surface and rheological properties of zirconia suspensions

Y. K. Leong, D. V. Boger, D. Parris

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemerapeer-review


The importance of surface chemistry on the rheological properties of concentrated zirconia suspension is investigated. The pH and nature of anions were found to have a very significant effect on the rheological properties of ZrO2 suspensions. The variation in rheological properties with pH and anions correlated well with the change in surface properties of the ZrO2 with pH and anion type and concentration. The isoelectric point (IEP) for monoclinic ZrO2 determined in 0.001M sodium chloride solution was 6.7. At and near the IEP, ZrO2 suspensions are highly flocculated and exhibited pronounced yield stress behaviour. At pH a few units either side of the IEP, the magnitude of the mobility is high and a low viscosity dispersed suspension is obtained. The ZrO2 suspension was dispersed with KOH at high pH while hydrochloric or nitric acid can be used for dispersion at low pH. Sulphuric acid however does not disperse the ZrO2 suspensions at low pH because of significant sulphate adsorption on the zirconia particle. At low pH, ZrO2 is positively charged, sulphate adsorption reduces the magnitude of the surface charge which is observed as a low positive mobility. The results clearly show how the surface chemistry of ZrO2 can be regulated to control the rheology.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes
Event18th Australasian Chemical Engineering Conference Part 2 (of 2) - Auckland, NZ, New Zealand
Duration: 27 Aug 199030 Aug 1990


Conference18th Australasian Chemical Engineering Conference Part 2 (of 2)
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
CityAuckland, NZ


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