Increasing the apparent shear viscosity of polymer composites by uptake of a small amount of water†
The mixing of polymers and particles provides a new avenue for engineering composite materials that display advantageous magnetic, electrical, dialectical and mechanical properties. The mixing quality and the derived properties are highly determined and controlled by the rheological behavior of the composite materials during mixing. Here, we studied the shear rheology of a protocol system, the polyamide/ferrite composites. The key findings of this study were that the apparent shear viscosity of polymer composites can be manipulated by the uptake of a trace amount of water (less than 0.3 wt%). Compared to the traditional way of tuning the viscosity by adding either lubricants or thickeners, our findings presented here provided a reversible, simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to control the rheology of polymer composites.