We have investigated the effect of superplasticizers on the rheological properties of concentrated MgO suspensions. The comb-type anionic polymers with grafted polyethylene oxide chains adsorb onto the MgO surface and infer a steric repulsion where the range scales with the length of the PEO side chains. Consolidation experiments, where the volume fraction gradient of particle networks has been determined in response to a centrifugal force field, offer a simple, yet accurate, way of investigating flocculated, partly stabilized and stable suspensions under compression. The compression rheology behaviour could be related to the estimated thickness of the adsorbed superplasticizers and a scaling analysis was used to quantitatively assess the importance of the length of the grafted PEO-chains on the magnitude of the inter-particle bond strength.
Cement and Concrete Research, 2006, Vol 36, Issue 7, p. 1231-1239