Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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New Methods for Studying Materials Under Shear with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

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posted on 2021-11-15, 17:09 authored by Timothy Brox

For over 30 years, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques have been used to study materials under shear. Collectively referred to as Rheo-NMR, these methods measure material behaviour due to external stimuli and provide spatially and temporally resolved maps of NMR spectra, intrinsic NMR parameters (e.g. relaxation times) or motion (e.g. diffusion or flow). As a consequence, Rheo-NMR has been established as a complementary technique to conventional rheological measurements. In this thesis, new hardware and experimental methods are presented with the goal of advancing this exciting field through further integration of traditional rheometry techniques with NMR experiments.  Three key areas of hardware development have been addressed, including: 1) integrating torque sensing into the Rheo-NMR experiment for simultaneous bulk shear stress measurements, 2) constructing shear devices with geometric parameters closer to those used on commercial rheometers and 3) implementing an advanced drive system which allows for new shear profiles including oscillatory shear.  In addition to presenting the design and construction of various prototype instruments, results from validation and proof of concept studies are discussed. This information demonstrates that the hardware operates as expected and establishes an experimental parameter space for these new techniques.  Furthermore, these methods have been applied to open questions in various physical systems. This includes exploring the influence of shear geometry curvature on the onset of shear banding in a wormlike micelle surfactant system, observing shear induced structural changes in a lyotropic nonionic surfactant simultaneously via deuterium spectroscopy and bulk viscosity as well as studying interactions of flowing granular materials. The interpretation and implication of these observations are discussed in addition to motivating further studies.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Galvosas, Petrik; Hunter, Mark