Abstract— The rheo-optical behavior of a viscoelastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) fluid was examined at room temperature for various pressure drops (flow rates) across a Jeffrey Hamel type converging wedge flow cell. The strain-rates were computed from local velocity measurements using laser Doppler anemometry (LDA), and the planar extensional flow behavior of the polymer melt was studied via birefringence measurements along the centerline of the flow cell. The linear relation between the stress and polarizability tensors were confirmed over a range of strain rates that extended well into the non-Newtonian region. The first normal stress difference (FNSD) was calculated from the local velocity measurements using a two-term Goddard-Miller model with a single Maxwell-type relaxation time constant of 0.0174 s computed from Rouse model and a zero-shear viscosity of 300 Pa.s. A linear stress-optical coefficient of 1.41 x 10-10 Pa-1 was obtained for PDMS in planar extensional flow at room temperature from the flow birefringence measurements and the first normal stress difference (FNSD) computed using the Goddard-Miller model. This compares well with values for PDMS in the range of 0.909 – 1.84 x 10-10 Pa-1 at room temperature as reported by various researchers.
Keywords— Polydimethylsiloxane, Flow Birefringence, Jeffrey-Hamel Flow, Stress-Optical Coefficient, Goddard-Miller Model.
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