Rheometry refers to the experimental technique used to determine the rheological properties of materials; rheology being defined as the study of the flow and deformation of matter which describes the interrelation between force, deformation and time. The term rheology originates from the Greek words ‘rheo’ translating as ‘flow’ and ‘logia’ meaning ‘the study of’, although as from the definition above, rheology is as much about the deformation of solid-like materials as it is about the flow of liquid-like materials and in particular deals with the behavior of complex viscoelastic materials that show properties of both solids and liquids in response to force, deformation and time.
There are a number of rheometric tests that can be performed on a rheometer to determine flow properties and viscoelastic properties of a material and it is often useful to deal with them separately. The first part of this introduction will focus on flow and viscosity and the tests that can be used to measure and describe the flow behavior of both simple and complex fluids. In the second part deformation and viscoelasticity will be discussed.
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