FLUIDS > Smart Fluids

Magnetic fluids & rheometry: in 2015 we developed a prototype version of an add-on for the commercial extensional rheometer CaBER, which was able to apply an external magnetic field perpendicular or parallel to the flow direction. Starting in September 2018 (FERROclean project) we will develop an improved version ready for the market in collaboration with Prof. Gareth McKinley (MIT, US), which will also allow to optimize the technique for magnetically clean-up of oil spills. Additionally, we are developing a rheometer on-a-chip for characterizing the rheological properties of magnetic fluids, under shear flow and extensional flow configurations.

2D-inks: Printability of new water-based high-concentration inks formulated with 2D materials is a crucial parameter to be understood in order to scale-up for industrialization. Starting in July 2018 (RheoOptimized2Dinks project) and in collaboration with Prof. R. Andrade (MacGraph, Brazil), we aim to overcome the current paradoxical situation in which the rheological properties are improved by adding chemicals that undermine the electro-mechanic-optical properties required by inkjet printed electronics, by optimizing instead, the geometry of nozzle and the printing conditions based on the rheological properties of the inks.

Shear thickening fluids in eco-friendly composites: We have developed and patented a technology (PCT/IB2015/057399) able to improve the mechanical properties of microagglomerated cork pads undergoing impact, vibrations or noise by adding Shear-Thickening Fluids (STFs) through optimized microfluidic patterns. We also funded a start-up company rheoINforced Optimal Performance, Lda. to commercialize this product. Nevertheless, most formulations for STFs reported in the literature are not environmentally friendly. We aim to formulate stable and eco-friendly STFs.