Molecular simulation to discover rheological properties and soil-binding ability of PHPA polymer on montmorillonite surface
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Synthetic polymer fluids are increasingly being applied to support excavations in deep foundations. As these fluids are molecularly engineered, their underlying microstructure interaction with in situ soils significantly affect excavation stability and soil dispersion. However, little molecular-scale research has been done on the rheological behavior of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamides (PHPA) polymer fluids on the clay surface. Molecular models of the clay–polymer systems are constructed using PHPA on montmorillonite (MMT) clay surface. Initial rheological properties and soil-binding ability at different shear rates, temperatures, and polymer concentrations are first studied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It is found that the functional groups of PHPA can interact with the MMT surface and form a viscous film under the atomic interaction of hydrogen bonds, water bridges, and electrostatic attraction. The shear stress, σ increases with the shear rate and follows the power-law model. And the viscosity, η decreases as the shear rate increases, which is consistent with the experimental trend. However, the σ and η decrease with the increase of temperature. And the action mode of PHPA concentration has been identified from the MD perspective. This work provides insight into the molecular mechanism for PHPA's rheology on the clay surface and their interaction.
Surface and Interface Analysis
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