Many Tribology Group publications are Open Access thanks to funding from the EPSRC.


BibTex format

author = {Marx, N and Ponjavic, A and Taylor, RI and Spikes, HA},
doi = {10.1007/s11249-017-0888-7},
journal = {Tribology Letters},
title = {Study of permanent shear thinning of VM polymer solutions},
url = {},
volume = {65},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The ultrashear viscometer (USV) has been adapted and employed to investigate the permanent shear thinning of polystyrene solutions in a series of phthalate ester base fluids. The permanent shear stability index based on viscosities measured at 106 s−1, PSSI(106), has been found to be a convenient way to express the magnitude of permanent shear thinning. When comparing permanent shear thinning at various shear rates in the USV, it is very important to take account of the different times of shear that are present at different shear rates. The PSSI(106) value divided by the total time of shear is then a useful way of quantifying and comparing permanent shear thinning rates. Tests using polystyrene in different viscosity base fluids have shown that this rate of permanent shear thinning depends on shear stress and not shear rate and varies linearly with polymer concentration. The rate of permanent shear thinning also varies exponentially with shear stress, suggestive of a stress-promoted polymer breakdown process. By using a small volume of test fluid in the USV and solvent extraction after a test, it has proved possible to obtain molecular weight distributions of polymer after shear using gel permeation chromatography (GPC). This indicates that the polymer breakdown process is different at low and high polymer concentrations, with molecule fragmentation at low polymer concentration but mid-chain scission at high concentration. A key feature of the USV is that, unlike other methods currently used to measure permanent shear thinning behaviour of engine oils, it subjects the test fluid to well-defined, controllable high shear conditions. Coupled with the use of GPC, this makes it possible for the first time to relate quantitatively the permanent shear thinning of engine oils to shear conditions and to polymer degradation response.
AU - Marx,N
AU - Ponjavic,A
AU - Taylor,RI
AU - Spikes,HA
DO - 10.1007/s11249-017-0888-7
PY - 2017///
SN - 1023-8883
TI - Study of permanent shear thinning of VM polymer solutions
T2 - Tribology Letters
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 65
ER -