Surface and rheological properties of zirconia suspensions

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


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 0.001 M 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 suspension 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
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1991
Externally publishedYes


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